SAO PAULO, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Authorities in Brazil's southeast state of Sao Paulo, epicenter of the country's novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, on Wednesday called on residents to help prevent a second wave of infections as economic activity picks up again.
"We have to maintain the caution that brought us here and avoid a second wave of cases as is happening in Europe," the state's Secretary of Health Jean Gorinchteyn said at a press conference.
Home to 46 million inhabitants, Sao Paulo has been relaxing lockdown restrictions since August, with practically all economic activity up and running, although with limits on business hours and occupancy rates.
Sao Paulo State Governor Joao Doria reiterated his health secretary's warning.
A recent drop in COVID-19 deaths was "good news," he said, adding that further progress "requires that the people continue prevention measures."
Sao Paulo has reported 1,103,582 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 39,007 deaths from the disease, almost a quarter of all coronavirus fatalities in Brazil.
The state capital Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America, is where Latin America's first case of COVID-19 was confirmed on Feb. 26, involving a 60-year-old Brazilian man who had vacationed in northern Italy.