Brazil: Domestic worker catches COVID-19 from her employer, who holidayed in Italy, and dies; case sparks debate on class, privilege and health access

Author: News Trust, Published on: 24 March 2020

“A Brazilian woman caught coronavirus on vacation. Her maid is now dead”, 24th March 2020

…Last Monday, housekeeper Cleonice Gonçalves suddenly fell ill while working at an apartment…in Rio de Janeiro…

It took Gonçalves two hours of traveling through twisting switchbacks to reach her home in the small town of Miguel Pereira…

By the following afternoon, she was dead. Her death was the first fatality attributed to coronavirus in greater Rio de Janeiro, and the fifth in Brazil.

The source of the infection was her employer in Leblon, a woman who had recently returned from holiday in Italy…

[This] has…sparked a public conversation about class and privilege. People affluent enough to travel abroad helped coronavirus get a foothold in Brazil, according to health officials, who worry it will now swamp low-income communities in Latin America's largest nation…

In a March 19 column in the nation's largest newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo, Djamila Ribeiro…said the case exemplifies the precarious state of Brazil's poor, many of whom don't have the luxury of staying at home…

Many low-income workers in Brazil, as in much of the rest of the world, toil in the informal economy without benefits or paid sick days…

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