Brazil Mafia Gangs Enforce '8 PM Curfew' in Rio de Janeiro to Curb Coronavírus Transmission, Feel Govt Not Doing Enough

Rio de Janeiro, March 27: The mafia gangs operating in Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro have taken matters in their own hand to combat the coronavirus outbreak. Known for their firm grip in the densely populated "favelas" or slums of the city, the groups have called for an "8pm curfew". Throughout the day, vans of the criminal groups patrolling the slums issue a warning to locals against stepping out of their houses after 8 pm. Catch live news updates on coronavirus outbreak in India and other parts of the world.

The extraordinary measure taken by the gangsters come amid an alleged lackadaisical approach shown by the government. President Jair Bolsonaro dismissed the pandemic as a "little flu", adding that not much would be affected by it in Brazil. Bolsonaro Slams 'Scorched-Earth' Coronavirus Quarantines.

The slums - which house the country's poor populace - so far considered coronavirus as a "disease of the rich" as the initial infections were spread only among the creamy layer who had recently returned from Europe or the United States.

The infection, however, is now spreading among the poors as well -- which has rattled the mafia groups mainly operating in the favelas of the city. In their statements issued earlier today, the gangsters said they would make a "perfect example" out of anyone who would violate the 8 pm curfew.

The one who steps out of the house, after it gets dark today, would learn to "respect each and every curfew henceforth", they added. "We want the best for the population. If the government does not have the capacity to fix it, organised crime will solve it," read another message issued by the gangsters.

Brazil has so far reportedly nearly 3,000 coronavirus cases, along with 78 deaths. Even as President Bolsonaro has dismissed the pandemic by calling it a "media fantasy", the country's provincial governors have appealed him to take immediate measures, adding that the nation's public health system would collapse in the next 15 days if the number of coronavirus cases continue to spike at the current rate.



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