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  • Public Security National Force performing a training exercise, Brazil, March 30, 2020.

    Public Security National Force performing a training exercise, Brazil, March 30, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @JusticaGovBR

Published 31 March 2020

Meanwhile, President Bolsonaro continues to contradict the epidemiologists' recommendations.​​​

Brazil’s Justice Minister Sergio Moro Monday authorized the National Public Security Force (FNSP) to participate in the control of the pandemic even by taking coercive action.

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Created in 2004, the FNSP, which is made up of elite groups of civilian and military police from Brazilian states, is deployed in cases of emergency or calamity.

Its most recent actions took place in 2019 concerning events such as attacks against public transport and buildings in Ceara state, the control of fire in the Amazon basin, and the intervention of indigenous lands in Maranhao state.

In principle, the FNSP deployment is scheduled until May 28 but can be extended for longer if authorities deem it necessary.

Besides providing security in health centers, this special force will guarantee the distribution of medical, pharmaceutical, food and hygiene items, according to the decree published after it was known that the death toll reached 159 and the number of COVID-19 cases is 4,579.​​​​​​​

Likewise, the FNSP will control ports, airports, highways and urban centers, and its action includes the "application of coercive measures" established in the COVID-19 legislation.​​​​​​​

These measures are intended to guarantee that those infected will undergo medical examinations and comply with the mandatory isolation.​​​​​​​

Meanwhile, the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro continues to contradict the epidemiologists' recommendations and suggest that people continue to do their business as usual.​​​​​​​

For their part, the Ministry of Health, Congress and most governors and mayors defend the adoption of compulsory quarantine and the closure of non-essential activities.

On Monday, Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said that a new model of inter-ministerial coordination of actions against COVID-19 will be launched.

One of the goals of the new procedures will be to ensure that the materials needed to confront the pandemic reach "all corners" in a country that has some 210 million inhabitants.​​​​​​​

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