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The mayor of Sao Paulo announced new guidelines on Thursday to gradually reopen the city, despite high levels of infections and deaths related to Covid-19. 

Mayor Bruno Covas said during a news conference today that several sectors in the city will be allowed to submit health and sanitary reopening plans to officials starting on Monday.

Once these plans are approved by the city government, they can reopen.

Among the businesses allowed to submit reopening plans are offices, retail stores, car dealerships, real estate agencies and shopping malls. Food courts and gyms are excluded. There is no outlook yet for the reopening of schools or parks.

Remember: Earlier this week a World Health Organization official warned Latin America is the new epicenter of the pandemic and cases are accelerating in Brazil. 

Brazil surpassed Russia over the weekend in the number of coronavirus infections and is now the second highest in the world, with more than 400,000 cases.

Currently ICU beds in Sao Paulo are at a 92% occupancy, the mayor said on Thursday. He added more ICU beds have been brought in and more are on their way, but the number of ICU bed occupied is slightly higher than it was two weeks ago.

Covas and Joao Doria, the governor of the state of Sao Paulo, have implemented a series of measures over the last couple of weeks aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and promoting social isolation.

Doria gave several municipalities in Sao Paulo state the green light to begin partial reopenings, including the capital city on Wednesday. Specialists say the move is risky. 

On Wednesday, Sao Paulo reported 129 new deaths and 3,096 new confirmed cases, which accounts for 15% of all the new cases in Brazil. The city has recorded a total number of 54,948 Covid-19 cases.

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