Brazil governors urge extension of COVID-19 emergency measures

GOVERNORS from 17 Brazilian states urged President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday to extend a “state of public calamity” due to the COVID-19 pandemic now set to expire at the end of the year.

Under the emergency measure, lawmakers are permitted to break certain budget rules as they prioritize addressing fallout from the pandemic.

Brazil, which has the highest COVID-19 death toll in the world outside the United States, has been dealing with an increasingly severe second wave over the last month or so.

“In this challenging moment in which we’re seeing an increase in the number of cases of the disease, with higher transmission rates in various Brazilian regions … we need to recognize that the country still finds itself in a state of public calamity,” the governors said in a formal letter to Bolsonaro.

They asked that the measure be extended for another six months.