Based on the monitoring of the Permanent Committee of Management and Execution of the Reopening Plan, which advises Rio de Janeiro City Hall, the city has been gradually resuming, since last Tuesday, its economic routine. The responsible opening of activities, according to Mayor Marcelo Crivella, is totally concerned with saving lives. In order to meet the goals established along with the Municipal Secretariat of Health – MSH, above all, six phases of the process were instituted, which will be closely monitored by doctors and scientists, who work with plenty of dialogue and transparency. The decision to adopt this plan was unanimous by the committee members. The gradual return to activities is also being monitored by Economic, Social, and Communication councils, with sectoral sub-councils. According to the MSH, if there is a need, “setbacks are foreseen” in relation to the measures put in place.
Vacancies in ICU and infirmary beds dictate the pace of the reopening
Among the variable points for the adoption of the planning, there is the evaluation of the number of ICU and infirmary beds, number of hospitalizations, deaths and new cases. For this purpose, it is essential that all health networks (municipal, state, federal and private) are in tune, as well the population supports the measures, which means continues to strictly follow the rules that prevent contagion.
Avoiding crowds remains key
According to the Education Superintendent of Rio Sanitary Surveillance, Flávio Graça, in addition to the crisis and scientific committees of the City Hall, more than 50 technicians from all areas of the administration were part of the reopening planning that is underway. Among the criteria taken into account are the number of people gathered in closed spaces; the degree of product interaction and sharing; the impossibility of distance; the probability of spread; and the generation of jobs. The decree of partial and monitored reopening was published in the Official Gazette on Tuesday (June 2nd). The service sector will be the main beneficiary in this first phase. The street businesses cannot yet open their doors, with the exception, for example, of car, furniture and decoration stores. Diners, bars and restaurants are still only working under delivery and take away systems.
According to conversations of municipal representatives in the process with the State Secretariat of Health, there are a series of joint actions being implemented. The City received more respirators and equipment from China this week and, as before, it may lend the equipment to the state network. Everything is calculated to serve around 11 million citizens of Rio de Janeiro and residents of other cities of the Metropolitan Region. All economic sectors that do not follow the criteria and rules of coexistence for the reopening will be fined by the Rio Sanitary Surveillance and inspection bodies of the City Hall, and may even have their license revoked.
Positive evaluation of the first days of gradual reopening
The municipal government considers positive the assessment of the first days of flexibilization of the measures adopted by the City to combat Covid-19. The analysis is based mainly on the number of beds offered in the city’s hospitals. According to the balance sheet released this Friday (June 5th), 1,252 exclusive beds have already been opened for the treatment of the new coronavirus, since the beginning of the pandemic. Of this total, 248 are ICU beds. In the first four days of June alone, 253 beds were opened. In May, 526 new beds dedicated to Covid were opened. The MSH updates the number of beds for the disease, the Brazilian Health Public System (SUS) occupancy rate, and transfer to regulated hospital beds.
Transfer to beds
In the entire Brazilian Health Public System (federal, state, and municipal) of the Metropolitan Region 1, which includes the capital and municipalities of the Baixada Fluminense, 36 people are regulated, there is, with guaranteed beds and in the process of transferring to Covid-19 beds. Of this total, 20 are for ICU. The number of beds is higher than the demand for places in the Brazilian Health Public System Network. All of these people are already hospitalized in health units. The number of beds is higher than the demand for places in the Brazilian Health Public System. * Brazilian Health Public System Occupancy Rate * In the entire Brazilian Health Public System network in the city of Rio – which includes beds in municipal, state and federal units – there are 1,792 hospitalized patients suspected of having Covid, of which 698 are in the ICU. In municipal units, there are 682 inpatients. Of this total, 217 are in municipal ICUs. The occupancy rate of ICU beds for Covid-19 in the Brazilian Health Public System network in the municipality is 90%. The occupancy rate in nursing beds for patients with suspected Covid is 54%. The occupancy rate reflects the scenario of the beds at the time of consulting the system, and may have a different number minutes later.
Transport: Start of resumption of operations with restrictions and inspection
The Municipal Secretariat of Transport announced on Friday, the gradual return of important services, in line with the first phase of the City Reopening Plan. The initial planning aims to reinforce the inspection of the bus system and to resume procedures related to traffic fines, in addition to essential services for taxi drivers. – The resumption of the services by the Secretariat will be made gradually, following the recommendations of the health agencies in relation to hygiene and distance.
The main objective is to return to offer important services to the citizen, safely and preserving the health of all – said the Municipal Secretary of Transport, Paulo Jobim. It is the fundamental right of human beings to come and go, work and support their family. For these reasons, in this first phase, the Municipal Secretariat of Transport will reinforce its inspection at bus terminals, BRT corridors and other strategic points in the city where there is greater agglomeration, with a view to releasing some activities. This reinforcement is intended to enforce the sanitary rules of the health authorities and the City Hall’s determination to only transport seated passengers, in accordance with the Decree 47282/2020, until the contamination curve is, in fact, flattened.
The secretariat warns that, for the safety of all, there can not have maximum occupancy in the collective transport, and drivers and passengers must wear a mask, based on the Decree 47375/2020. This awareness process is important for the compliance of all phases of the resumption of activities. The initiatives will be constantly monitored so that there is a gradual flexibilization of the measures, until the normalization of the transport system in the city. Since the beginning of the actions to fight against the coronavirus, 502 fines were applied for maximum occupancy and other irregularities in the services.
Fines for street vendors that break rules
Legal street vendors, except the elderly and those with comorbidities, were always allowed to work. Even so, with restrictions and following the rules of the City Hall, including not being able to occupy either squares or parks. Illegals vendors have never been authorized to act. According to the Inspector General of the Municipal Guard, José Ricardo Soares, this Friday, in partnership with the Health Surveillance, the Municipal Secretariat of Public Order and the Military Police, a new phase of inspection began, in which photos of the irregularities will be taken, so there are notifications and fines. In the case of street vendors – about 10 thousand – those who break the rules, may even lose their badge.
The Municipal Secretariat of Public Order (SEOP) has been carrying out permanent actions to supervise trade, especially in the area of the Uruguaiana street vendor market, in the city center. The objective is to prevent the operation of non-essential stores, the presence of irregular street vendors in the region, avoid agglomerations and protect the population from the risk of contamination by the new coronavirus. The City Hall’s task force is a joint action of professionals from the SEOP Undersecretariat for Operations, Municipal Guard, Undersecretariat for Licensing, Inspection, and Urban Control (from the Secretariat of Finance) and Comlurb (Waste management public company). On Wednesday, as a result of the action in Madureira, agents instructed 135 street vendors to vacate the public space and closed 15 establishments in disagreement with the municipal decree to combat the pandemic. The North Zone neighborhood is one of 11 with partial blockages, which are not included in the first phase of the plan to resume economic activities in the city.
Numbers – In more than two months of operations, SEOP registered 25,150 inspected establishments, with 17,950 closed commercial outlets, from March 18th to June 3rd. The Dial for Agglomeration’s team (another inspection front coordinated by the Secretariat) has treated 8,568 occurrences since March 31. The neighborhoods most in demand for the dispersing people service, based on calls to the Central 1746, are Campo Grande, Realengo, Bangu, Santa Cruz, Barra da Tijuca, Taquara, Tijuca, Centro, Copacabana and Recreio dos Bandeirantes.