Travel ban and Brazil

travel ban

Back in June 2020, two flights left Toronto and another left Montreal with passengers heading back to Brazil. The consulates had selected the passengers and had distributed them among the flights. The final destination of the three flights was São Paolo. These 300 Brazilian people were thankful that they could finally return home, albeit worried about the extent of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil. Today, in spite of a deepening gloom and the presence of more contagious variants in Brazil, one can be hopeful as measures are being taken at a regional level to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The vaccines Oxford AstraZeneca and Sinovac are being distributed in all 27 Brazilian states. Stella Lopes, a microbiologist at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte said, “Vaccines are being distributed on the basis of a calendar that prioritizes age groups. Frontline professionals are also given priority.” Thankfully, only a small percentage of people have protested against the restrictions. Many strategies have been implemented for the control of the pandemic in Brazil. As Lopes mentioned, “Curfews have been instituted across states where people are not allowed to be out on the streets between certain times. To increase the effectiveness of curfews, the police play a very important role and interrogate people who are on the streets during curfew hours. This has helped to considerably reduce the number of hospitalisations.” Travellers to Brazil have to produce a valid RT-PCR test.

Canada and Brazil have enjoyed a relationship characterised by mobility, migration, education, trade, defense and security.  Although Air Canada has suspended flights from Toronto to São Paulo, if the outbreak in Brazil is contained, there is hope for the future. To quote Anderson Silva, “Life is about how much you can take and keep fighting, how much you can suffer and keep moving forward.”

 Bartika Dutta

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