Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Brazil Carries Emergency Oxygen To Manaus Amid COVID Surge | News on the coronavirus pandemic

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The Brazilian Air Force delivered emergency oxygen supplies to the jungle state of Amazonas, and premature babies were to be airlifted to other states from local hospitals overwhelmed by new devastating outbreak of COVID-19 cases.

Doctors were using their own vehicles to transport patients, as residents of Manaus sought to buy oxygen tanks on the black market, local media reported. Desperate relatives protesting outside city hospitals said patients were taken off ventilators as oxygen was depleted.

Sao Paulo Governor João Doria said some 60 premature babies in incubators need to be transferred to other parts of Brazil, while officials said hospitals need three times as much oxygen as this. that was available.

Manaus was one of the first cities to emerge from the pandemic in Brazil, which has the second highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world after the United States. Critics of President Jair Bolsonaro have said the grim situation in that country is just the latest example of its mismanagement of the crisis.

Relatives of patients in hospital or receiving care at home, most suffering from COVID-19, gather to buy oxygen and fill cylinders at a private business in Manaus [Bruno Kelly/Reuters]

The country has yet to start vaccinations, faces a second snowballing wave and a new, potentially more contagious variant of the coronavirus that originates in Amazonas and which prompted Britain on Thursday to ban the disease. entry to the Brazilians.

Bolsonaro, a former far-right army captain who played down the pandemic and opposed tighter social controls to stem its spread, said on Friday the government had already done what it could in Manaus .

“The problem is terrible there. Now we have done our part, ”he told supporters outside the presidential palace, adding that the military was installing a temporary hospital.

Critics have drawn parallels between lack of oxygen and the inability to start vaccinations in Latin America’s largest country. The government wants to start giving injections next week but has yet to announce an official start date.

In this September 2020 file photo, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro adjusts his mask during a ceremony on extending emergency aid [File: Eraldo Peres/AP Photo]

A government-chartered plane was due to fly to India on Friday to collect two million doses of AstraZeneca. But that shipment is likely to experience delays as India decides to ease export regulations as it begins its own inoculation campaign this weekend, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

India will be able to decide on exports of coronavirus vaccines in the coming weeks, Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar told Reuters news agency this week.

“The policy of course is that we will start the deployment in India. We have our own challenges, ”Jaishankar said.

The global death toll from coronaviruses topped two million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally.

Pot banging

With increasing pressure on the president, some Brazilians on social media called for a nationwide demonstration against home windows in the afternoon, using the hashtag #BRAZILSUFFOCATED.

The gasping protests were a hallmark of the early days of the pandemic and generally signaled a decline in support for Bolsonaro.

A health worker stands in front of an empty oxygen tank station where it is used, empty cylinders are found at the only oxygen station inside Joventina Dias Hospital, a small clinic in Manaus [Edmar Barros/AP Photo]

With emergency services being pushed to breaking point, Amazonas Governor Nelson Lima has announced a statewide curfew from 7:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Health officials said oxygen supplies were depleted in some hospitals and intensive care units were so full that many patients were being airlifted to other states.

The Air Force flew six cylinders containing 9,300 kilograms (20,500 pounds) of oxygen from São Paulo state to Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state in northern Brazil, where it will be distributed to hospitals, according to an army statement. Another cargo is being loaded in São Paulo on Friday, bound for Manaus.

The Air Force said a flight transported nine patients and five medics from Manaus to Teresina in northeastern Brazil and that evacuations would continue with two planes carrying patients to six cities.


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