São Paulo Football Stadium Now Celebrates Recovery of Patients from Coronavirus

Folha spent a day at Pacaembu, the iconic São Paulo stadium

São Paulo

Empty grandstands loom over machine operator Antônio Cândido Dias, 77, as he leaves the field hospital that was set up in Pacaembu stadium a month ago for patients with coronavirus.

"I thought I wasn't going to leave anymore," said Antônio shortly before leaving the hospital in a wheelchair. One of his children is waiting for him. When she sees her father, she disobeys medical protocol and hugs him.

Folha spent a day at Pacaembu, the iconic São Paulo stadium ( Foto: Lalo de Almeida/ Folhapress ) - Lalo de Almeida

As soon as Antônio's wheelchair appears in Charles Miller's square, outside the stadium, unknown passersby begin to applaud. The crowd, now of a different type than the one the stadium usually receives, is always present there. They are people who are passing by; spontaneously, they scream and clap for those who leave.

Pacaembu is only three years older than Antônio. In its lifetime, it has already hosted a World Cup and King Pelé on his lawns. Now 80 years old, the stadium hosts matches of life and death every day. Last Thursday (7), Antônio won.

The municipal hospital in Pacaembu was the first campaign unit created by the management Bruno Covas (PSDB), who later set up another in Anhembi. The goal is to have beds of low and medium complexity to relieve the public hospital network.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language