After seven months of fighting COVID-19, it seems like a dream places where the new coronavirus has not arrived. However, in Minash islands from an epidemiological point of view, surrounded by municipalities with cases of the disease, but which have managed to keep the contamination numbers zero since the arrival of the pandemic in the state. So Thom das Letras, in the South of Minas, Pedro Teixeira, in Zona da Mata, Botumirim, in the North, and Camacho e Cedar of Abaet, in the Midwest region, have just under 0.1% of the state’s inhabitants. The five mining towns where COVID-19 cases have not yet been registered add up to a population that does not reach 20 thousand people.
According to the bulletin of the Secretary of State for Health, released yesterday, they are the only cities still free from the new coronavrus. Unlike these contiguous islands, the State confirmed 3,031 new cases and 78 deaths by COVID-19, in 24 hours, and totaled 331,433 cases and 8,345 deaths. Deaths from the new coronavirus were recorded in 638 municipalities in Minas Gerais.
In Pedro Teixeira, economic activities were resumed, but, even with flexibility, the city manages to keep the less than 2 thousand inhabitants protected from the pandemic. In the evaluation of the health department, Helen Cristina Alves Moreira de Oliveira, the positive balance in coping with the disease can be credited to the behavior of the population, which adhered to the protection measures. “The picture keeps zero. I believe that because the municipality is smaller and has a very large elderly population ”, he says. Even with open trade, the population remains cautious.
The city next to Juiz de Fora, which, according to the SES epidemiological bulletin, has 6,272 cases and 248 deaths. The secretariat recalls that many residents of Pedro Teixeira undergo health treatment in Juiz de Fora and Lima Duarte, cities of the region, but nevertheless, since the beginning of the pandemic, they have been avoiding attending health facilities in neighboring cities with fear of contracting the coronavirus. “Our small town, so it’s easier to control. People are older, simpler and are afraid of the big city boom, ”he says. For her, this behavior of the population is the differential, since the city has made economic activities more flexible as other municipalities in the region have also reopened.
The municipality of Camacho has also managed to keep the new coronavirus at bay, even after trade easing. Next to Itapecerica, a municipality that confirmed 185 cases and three deaths, Camacho now has an estimated population of 3,700 inhabitants, who follow the prevention guidelines proposed by the city. “Inexplicable in no case,” says the administration secretary Ana Maria Arantes Silva. She reinforces that the city government develops campaigns to guide the population about the care they should take. Other measures adopted are the close monitoring of those who show any sign of the flu and the distribution of masks for the entire population.
Unlike Pedro Teixeira and Camacho, So Thom das Letras closed the city, at the beginning of the pandemic, and extended the measure in September, opposing trade easing and the reopening of tourism. “We were the first city to close the barriers in the south of Minas. We did it at the right time. The population also collaborated. So Thom has an extra strength. It has an extra protection. Some say that the protection of So Thom. Others say that the city has a magic. I say there is extra strength, ”says Deputy Mayor Tom Alvarenga, who served as mayor for 30 months, from the beginning of the pandemic until September.
However, five traders managed to obtain an injunction granted on September 6 by the judge of first instance Fernanda Machado de Moura Leite. The injunction was upheld, in the second instance, by the judge Maria Ins Souza on October 9. In the play, they claim that “they are physical persons, active in the business and services sector in the city of So Thom das Letras and since March 23, 2020, they have suffered all kinds of discomfort in the face of decree nº 14, as well to decree nº 57 of 18 September 2020, which extended the measures to combat COVID-19. ”
Merchants accuse the city of “locking the city, ordering the closure of all trade, as well as all services, in addition to blocking all access to the city, even preventing the entry of tourists and visitors.”
The owner of the Hotel dos Sonhos Guilherme Marcos Alvarenga is one of the traders who filed for an injunction so that they could receive tourists. He claims that the city government imposed the closing of the trade, but did not propose a structured plan for the reopening. “There is no point in closing and not presenting anything in preparation. In seven months, he did not present any technical, epidemiological data or a reopening plan. The injunction in our favor makes it very clear that the city hall is inoperative ”, he argues. The hotel once again received guests within 20% of its capacity. “The opening has to happen gradually and responsibly,” he says.
With no confirmed cases and no deaths recorded by COVID-19, So Thom das Letras was supposed to be a brigadier. However, time has closed in the municipality, known for being a tourist hub. In addition to the legal dispute to open trade, there is also a political crisis. Mayor Marisa Maciel de Souza was impeached and removed and the vice-mayor, Tom Reis Alvarenga (MDB), took over.
As determined by the Court of Justice of Minas Gerais, Marisa Maciel de Souza (PT) took office on September 2, after having been out of office for a while. The mayor was impeached by the City Council in February 2018, but Justice’s decision put her back in office. In that one month of return, he faces a controversy about transfers received for the combat COVID-19. Upon leaving office, the deputy mayor claimed to have left the cashier of the city hall with R $ 6 million. There is a video, which circulates in the city, in which the mayor says she does not know where the resources are.
Wanted by the report Tom Alvarenga confirmed that he left R $ 6 million in cash. However, according to him, of this total only R $ 700 thousand was destined to combat COVID-19. According to him, there is a confusion regarding the resource, which is not entirely for pandemic combat actions. “We cannot spend on COVID-19 if that is not the case. I will not spend any money ”. According to him, the municipality received about R $ 700 thousand that it can use for actions linked to the COVID confrontation. “I left R $ 6 million at the register, but she said she was not finding that money,” he said. However, according to him, the resource was located by the mayor. The report got in touch with the mayor, but until the closing of the issue there was no return. (MMC)