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Brazilian retirement home offers ‘hugging curtain’ for safe contact

16 June 2020 08:55 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



SAO PAULO AFP June14, 2020-A retirement home in Brazil has come up with a creative solution to allow friends and families to enjoy personal contact with aging residents particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus: a “hugging curtain.” The large plastic curtain, installed in a retirement home in the city of Sao Paulo, allows residents on one side and visitors on the other to engage in the sort of comforting hugs that COVID-19 has made impossible for months.   

The curtain has pockets through which resident and visitor can insert their arms, and they are outfitted with shoulder-length black gloves for added protection. 

 “It really feels good; I missed her so much!” 68-year-old Silvio Nagata told AFP after enjoying a long, emotional hug with his sister, Luiza Yassuko, who is 76, at a retirement home in the affluent Morumbi neighborhood.   

 “Because of the pandemic, I wasn’t able to visit her, especially because at my age I’m also part of a high-risk group,” Nagata said.   Sao Paulo state is Brazil’s richest and most populous state, with 46 million inhabitants, but it is also the hardest-hit by the coronavirus. There have been 172,875 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 10,581 deaths, according to the latest official tally.   

Brazil has registered the second-largest number of coronavirus deaths in the world, at 43,389, and of people infected (850,514), after the United States. 

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