Brazil’s top soccer clubs are handing over their stadiums to allow health authorities to turn them into field hospitals and clinics to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
With soccer in the nation suspended until further notice, more than half the clubs in Brazil’s Serie A have given up their stadiums as authorities in densely populated Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro seek to expand hospital capacity to deal with the crisis.
South American champions Flamengo are handing control of their famous Maracana in Rio de Janeiro to health authorities, club president Rodolfo Landim said.
“In this grim moment, I wanted to invite our great Red and Black nation to renew hope and work for better days. Let us take care of our elders, help those who need it most,” Landim wrote in a message to supporters.
Authorities in Sao Paulo — Brazil’s biggest city — said that they would install 200 beds in a field hospital at the municipal Estadio do Pacaembu to relieve pressure on the city’s hospitals, while two of the city’s big clubs were also lending a hand.
Corinthians said that they have made their Arena Corinthians and their training headquarters available “so that the authorities can evaluate how they can be used to combat the spread of the disease.”
Santos announced that a temporary clinic would be set up in one of the lounges inside the Estadio Urbano Caldeira.
Brazilian Minister of Health Luiz Henrique Mandetta on Friday last week predicted that the coronavirus would reach its peak in the nation between next month and June, anticipating a drop in COVID-19 infections from September.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
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