(Photo: Reprodução/TV TEM)
The Construction Workers Trade Union of São Paulo (Sintracon-SP), have reported that 57 construction workers have died in São Paulo, Brazil due to COVID-19. The tragic news came as the construction industry, classified as an essential activity by the government, continues to operate throughout the lockdown, with many worksites suffering from poor health and safety conditions.
According to Sintracon-SP President Antonio Ramalho, the number of deaths may even be higher. He said that there are cases at different construction sites waiting to be confirmed and many construction companies have not yet notified authorities.
São Paulo has 680,000 workers construction workers. To date, only 15,000 were tested, creating antibodies to only 28 percent of the workforce.
Ramalho feared that many constructions workers are asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. "How many of these workers, forced to work, have unknowingly passed the virus to their comrades? How many workers were really infected?” he asked.
BWI and Sintracon-SP expressed their sadness over the death of the 57 workers. They joined the families of the workers and the Brazilian labour movement in mourning this tragic loss of life.
As of 2 June, Brazil has a total of 529,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 30,058 deaths. It ranks second in the list of countries worldwide (next to the United States) with the most cases of COVID-19.