- Title: Hunger or virus. Pandemic exposes dangers of Brazil's vast informal economy
- Date: 26th June 2020
- Summary: RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (JUNE 26, 2020) (REUTERS) HEARSE LEAVING TENT AT FIELD HOSPITAL HEARSE LEAVING GROUNDS OF FIELD HOSPITAL BRASILIA, BRAZIL (JUNE 25, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR SPECIALISING IN VIOLENCE, DORIAM BORGES, SAYING: "Brazil was already in this situation of social inequality and with the pandemic this situation has not gone down. The middle class can continue to work from home but those from the lower classes, either they've lost their jobs, their finances have been affected or they have to work, leave the house and expose themselves to risk from COVID-19 infection." RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL (JUNE 26, 2020) (REUTERS) HOMES IN FAVELA COMMUNITY GENERAL VIEW OF AREA WITH FAVELA TORN BRAZILIAN FLAG WAVING BRASILIA, BRAZIL (JUNE 25, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Portuguese) UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR SPECIALISING IN VIOLENCE, DORIAM BORGES, SAYING: "The increase in COVID-19 cases in Brazil is closely linked to the political discourse with the breaking of quarantine. So people end up believing that coronavirus is not a problem."
- Embargoed: 10th July 2020 20:35
- Keywords: Brasilia Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro Rio de Janeiro coronavirus economy infections informal workers pandemic
- Location: RIO DE JANEIRO + BRASILIA + GOIAS, BRAZIL
- City: RIO DE JANEIRO + BRASILIA + GOIAS, BRAZIL
- Country: Brazil
- Reuters ID: LVA003CK0DAVB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The deadly coronavirus has wreaked havoc on Brazil's already fragile economy. But the pandemic has been especially devastating for those working in the country's vast informal sector, where millions earn their living without a safety net.
Measures taken by authorities to fight COVID-19 like lockdowns have threatened the livelihoods of informal workers and pushed them further into poverty, hunger, and homelessness.
Francisco has been selling cuts of grilled meat from his humble food cart for over a decade now. But with business drying up, he told Reuters amid tears that he is facing financial ruin.
Brazil has been in lockdown for months and new deaths and infections are still trending high. As of Friday (June 26), the country has reported over 1.2 million infections and more than 55,000 deaths. With the country struggling to flatten it's infection curve, citizens are wondering how much longer they can afford to keep up quarantine.
With some 60% of Brazil's workforce reportedly linked to the informal sector, the choice facing these Brazilians is stark. Go to work and risk possible infection or go hungry.
President Jair Bolsonaro has been critical of Brazil's states that have implemented tough lockdown measures, saying the move is a job killer. That message is popular amongst those doing it tough under lockdown, but his critics fear the politicisation of the virus will only cause more deaths.
(Production: Sergio Queiroz, Paul Vieira)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2020. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None