Hundreds of maskless shoppers ignore social distancing rules and storm new department store in Brazil forcing it to be closed by the government
- Thousands of shoppers rushed to the opening of the latest Havan department store in Pará, Brazil, on Saturday
- Pará governor Helder Barbalho has ordered the Havan megastore to be shut down immediately, ruling management ignored social distancing measures
- Owner Luciano Hang appeared in a video banging on the venue’s windows to hype up customers as they waited to enter the store
- The shop is located in Belem, a city in the state of Pará, which has generated the sixth most amount of positive COVID-19 cases in the country with 237,938
- The pandemic has killed 6,654 residents throughout the state, the seventh highest total in the South American nation
This is the astonishing moment hundreds of shoppers rushed inside a new department store in Brazil ignoring social distancing guidelines.
Scores of videos uploaded to social media show how the throng of shoppers pushed past each other Saturday at the opening of Havan in Belem, a city in the northern Brazilian state of Pará.
Images show a sea of frenzied customers desperate to grab a bargain with one video capturing the moment businessman Luciano Hang hypes up the customers outside prior to the opening of his 150th store – a day before he celebrated his 58th birthday.
Customers are seen crowding into the 150th Havan megastore in Brazil as it opened its doors on Saturday
Customers without facial coverings file through a Havan department store
Businessman Luciano Hang appears behind a window at the Havan megastore in Belem
The mass gathering forced Pará governor Helder Barbalho to order Havan megastore to be shut down Saturday because management failed to comply with social distancing measures.
Barbalho based his decision on ‘non-compliance with the rules provided by the WHO and for crimes against Public Health, according to article 268 of the Brazilian Penal Code’.
According to the Brazilian Health Ministry, Pará ranks sixth in the country with 237,938 confirmed cases and seventh with 6,654 deaths.
The epidemic has generated 5,094,979 positive cases Brazil, third behind the United States and India. The deadly virus has killed 150,488 in Brazil, second behind the U.S.
Luciano Hang (left), co-founder of Grupo Havan, is pictured with Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro (center) and Brazil’s Economy Minister Paulo Guedes (right) before the start of a press conference on October 7
Hang apologized to Barbalho and the Para state government for any issues that the store opening may have caused.
‘We did not expect to receive so much affection from the Paraencse people. We have sanitary procedures in all of our 150 megastores throughout Brazil, but today it was humanly impossible to execute,’ Hang wrote in an Instagram post.
Hang, a supporter of President Jair Bolsonaro, who once compared the coronavirus to a ‘little flu’, said that the positive reviews behind the opening of his latest store would lead to more openings in future.
‘I will repay all this affection by opening more stores throughout the state of Pará, generating jobs and development,’ Hand said.