Residents of Sao Paulo were filmed at the central market on Thursday, buying cod meat ahead of Easter, with most of them seemingly disregarding social distancing adopted as an obligatory measure in many other coronavirus-hit countries.

Footage shows the customers closely packed together, often not wearing protective gear, next to slices of cod meat pilled one on top of the other.

"I came here to the market to buy cod, we always do it with the family. I usually spend Good Friday with my step-mum, but unfortunately due to the COVID-19, this year I will spend the day alone with my children. With her only through a video-call. I just left the house only to come to the market and now I am going straight home," said Renata, one of the customers.

One of the vendors, Cicero, noted a drop in sales. "It's the first Easter that we live through like we are during wartime. The sale of cod is a quarter of what was expected; people buy less. Here in this store we are making 25 per cent less profit than what should have been this time of the year. But we should not stop consuming," he said.

Brazil has reported over 17,000 coronavirus cases since the start of the outbreak, with around 940 of them resulting in death, according to Johns Hopkins University.

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Associated Press 11 May 2020 11:44 CEST

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