- Title: Brazil 'Ghostbuster' deep cleans favela streets to fight coronavirus
- Date: 10th April 2020
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (APRIL 10, 2020) (REUTERS) LOCAL RESIDENTS WEARING PROTECTIVE SUITS AND DISINFECTING STREETS OF THE SANTA MARTA FAVELA LOCAL RESIDENT DISINFECTING STREET AND CHILD LOOKING ON FROM A WINDOW LOCAL RESIDENT DISINFECTING STREET AND MAN LOOKING ON LOCAL RESIDENTS DISINFECTING STREETS (SOUNDBITES) (Portuguese) RESIDENT OF SANTA MARTA FAVELA, TIAGO FERMINIO, SAYING: " I wouldn't call it heroic, but we have a ferocious attitude, and we watched the development of the news in China. We saw that China and other countries were using Quaternary ammonium (a disinfectant used in hospitals) to prevent (the spread of COVID-19). The favela is always forgotten. Anything that happens in the city, the favela is always the last to receive any benefit. Healthcare is precarious and the question of public hygiene and trash is also precarious. We decided to get information from people outside Brazil to find out what equipment we needed, and we found agricultural equipment sold here in Santa Marta, and since it's an agricultural product used in the fields of Rio de Janeiro, we decided to check it out and make a budget. We realized it isn't expensive." LOCAL RESIDENTS REFILLING DISINFECTION EQUIPMENT VARIOUS, WORKERS WITH DISINFECTION EQUIPMENT WOMAN APPLAUDING FROM BALCONY (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) RESIDENT OF SANTA MARTA FAVELA, MARCIA THIAGOS, SAYING: "We are grateful. This doesn't happen everywhere. He (Tiago Ferminio) is always looking out for the best of our community, looking for anything that can be improved here." LOCAL RESIDENTS DISINFECTING STREETS WORKERS TURNING ON DISINFECTION EQUIPMENT VARIOUS, LOCAL RESIDENTS REFILLING DISINFECTION EQUIPMENT LOCAL RESIDENTS DISINFECTING STREETS
- Keywords: Brazil COVID-19 Rio de Janeiro coronavirus disinfect favelas
- Reuters ID: LVA001C8WSRWN
- Location: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- City: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Duration: 00:03:09
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: When coronavirus hit and tourists stopped coming to Thiago Firmino's Rio de Janeiro favela tour, he decided to act. Unwilling to wait for officials to react, he donned a white suit and set about disinfecting the streets of the Santa Marta slum.
Having watched with horror as the virus spread round the world, Firmino, 39, launched a scheme to sanitize the Santa Marta favela.
Dressed as a "Ghostbuster," Firmino leads the latest in a growing number of community-led programs to combat the spread of a virus that many expect to wreak havoc in Brazil's poor, densely-packed slums.
Around 4,000 people live in Santa Marta, one of Rio's most iconic favelas.
Set behind the beachside neighborhood of Botafogo, it boasts spectacular views of the Sugar Loaf mountain and even a statue of Michael Jackson, who filmed the video to his song "They Don't Care About Us" in Santa Marta.
Firmino's wife, Wilcieide Miranda, said that so far there were no known cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, in the slum.
She and her husband rely on community donations to undertake their sanitation work.
This week, authorities reported the first six coronavirus deaths in Rio's favelas, which are often controlled by drug gangs and violent self-defense militias.
Last month, Reuters reported that gangsters had imposed curfews in some of the city's slums to fight the spread of the coronavirus.
On Wednesday (April 8) Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said he would talk with the gangsters who act as the slums' de facto rulers about how to best tackle the virus.
So far, 1,057 people have died from COVID-19 in Brazil, with 19,638 confirmed cases, according to the latest official figures on Friday. Nearly 150 people have died in Rio state, where there are 2,464 cases, the figures show.
(Production: Sergio Moraes, Sebastian Rocandio)
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