Covid-19 is affecting election campaigns. Five capitals and several other cities across the country have had candidates infected since the start of the street events on September 27. In addition, at least nine politicians registered as contestants in this election have died of the disease since September 23.
The proliferation of cases among candidates was expected due to street campaigns. “The more the person is exposed, the greater the risk of acquiring the infection”, says professor and researcher at UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco) Vera Magalhães.
She points out that there is a difficulty in guaranteeing the health security of those who participate in these political acts. “The mask is important, but it is not enough. Other measures are necessary, such as distance, avoiding closed places and close contact with others”, he explains.
The more people and the more time [de exposição], the greater the risk. If you do not have constant care, such as hand hygiene, only the mask will not protect – even because many times the other person does not use it.
Vera Magalhães, UFPE researcher
She says the number of cases is not exclusive to the largest cities. “Candidates for mayor of capitals sometimes have more access to tests [por isso aparecem mais]. But neither the politician nor the voter are immune to this whole exposure “, he says.
Cases in the capitals
Several candidates for city halls had to suspend their campaigns on the streets. On Wednesday (14) at night, Gustavo Paim (Progressives), from Porto Alegre, had a positive result of the exam disclosed. In the afternoon, however, he had taken a walk and talked to traders.
On the 12th, the mayor and candidate for reelection in Florianópolis, Gean Loureiro (DEM), informed in his social networks that he was with covid-19.
In São Luís, Rubens Pereira Júnior (PCdoB) also reported having been infected on October 5.
On the same day, in Fortaleza, José Sarto (PDT) had a positive diagnosis a few days before ex-deputy Ciro Gomes (his ally from the same party in Ceará) also announced contamination with the virus.
In Manaus, Chico Preto (DC) and Romero Reis (Novo) announced that they had contracted the new coronavirus in early October.
Aécio Rodrigues (PSL), who is running for the mayor of Cuiabá, announced his diagnosis one day before the campaign, on September 26, ten days after participating in the convention that ratified his candidacy. In Rio, Clarissa Garotinho (PROS) also released her results on the networks.
The covid-19 was also the cause of death of candidates for the election nationwide. According to the Twitter, at least nine candidates died from the disease. Altogether, until yesterday afternoon, the TSE (Supreme Electoral Tribunal) candidature registration system reported 29 dead – without informing the causes.
The last death occurred yesterday. The victim was the former councilor – and candidate for office again – Colonel Rozendo (PV), in Sorocaba, São Paulo. Still in São Paulo, the councilor and candidate for reelection in Barretos Olímpio Jorge Naben (DEM) died on Monday night (12). Radio broadcaster Rubinho Costa (PSD), candidate for councilor in Penápolis, was also a victim of the new coronavirus on the 5th.
Pastor Damaceno Junior (PSD) died on Saturday (10) in Curitiba. He was a candidate for councilor.
Francisco Viana (PSOL), candidate for vice mayor in the city of Novo Gama (GO), died on the 5th. Already a candidate for councilor for Mineiros, also in Goiás, César da Loteria (MDB) died on the 2nd.
Another victim was the former mayor in Ibema (PR) Aramitan Antônio Fortunato (PROS), who would try the job again, but died on the 4th, after more than a month in hospital.
Olímpia Torres Fernandes Franco (Republicans) was a candidate for councilor in Ariquemes (RO) and died on September 28. Still in the North, the deputy mayor and candidate for reelection in Barrolândia (TO), Odair Alves Machado (DEM), died of the disease on the 23rd.