Former Central Bank president Arminio Fraga defended the isolation proposed by health officials and said that without it, the Brazilian economy would suffer a second blow due to the new coronavirus. The first now, with the crisis that is already beginning to show signs, and the second when a good part of the population was infected by Covid-19.
The statement comes after politicians and businessmen advocated isolation only from people at risk, the so-called vertical isolation, to protect the economy.
In an interview with the newspaper O Globo, Fraga, who comes from a family of doctors, said that “the option is to save lives”. He says he does not believe that the end of the quarantine carried out by states and municipalities would be good for the country.
“It is evident that the option is to save lives. But I do not believe that the economy would benefit so much (from a quarantine suspension, which would cause more victims). And, in a second moment, the economy could lead to a second blow,” he said. .
For him, people will not go back to work and consume as before the quarantine is over. “Of the Brazilian population, 38% are elderly, with chronic diseases or both. It would be crazy,” he told the newspaper.
“Those who are going to be exposed are very numerous and vulnerable. Our network of hospitals, as indeed in much of the world, was not prepared for an emergency of this size, it would be a social catastrophe. It was aired in the UK, and they quickly gave up. The idea that there is an exchange relationship between health and the economy, in my opinion and that of my colleagues at Ieps (Institute of Studies for Health Policies), is that it is not so. People are already very scared and will not leave consuming even if the end of the isolation suddenly decrees. ”
To defend the poorest from the impact caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Fraga bets on Bolsa Família. For him, zeroing the registration queue and temporarily expanding the benefit is necessary. “It is a tool that exists and needs to be activated quickly”, he adds.