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Thursday, March 4, 2021

Oxygen shortage forces medevac of 60 premature babies from Amazon city

The information, published by CNN Brasil, was confirmed on Friday by Sao Paulo´s State Governor Joao Doria, who also criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for his handling of the pandemic in Brazil.

“Sao Paulo will receive all babies that can be transported. This is the end of the world, not having oxygen for premature babies. What irresponsibility of the Bolsonaro government,” said Doria.

Private hospitals in Manaus, a city of 2 million people, only have oxygen supplies for the next 36 hours, the general secretary of the Brazilian Federation of Hospitals, Aramacy Pinto, told CNN Brasil on Friday.

Pinto said the last delivery of oxygen cylinders to Manaus hospitals arrived early on Friday, and although the next delivery is scheduled to arrive in the next 24 hours, he fears it will be delayed due to high demand across the entire region.

Authorities have asked oxygen plants and local industries to produce as much supply for hospitals as they can. Home appliance firm Electrolux said it will hand over its oxygen supplies used in manufacturing air conditioners to public hospitals, according to CNN Brasil.

A record number of Covid burials

Since early Wednesday, hospitals and emergency rooms in Manaus, the capital of Amazonas State, have been facing an acute shortage of oxygen.
Health care in Brazil's Amazonas state in 'collapse' as Covid-19 infections surge

Although state and municipal authorities have not released official figures, health workers have told local news organizations that dozens of patients have died recently due to a lack of oxygen, vital in the treatment of the novel coronavirus.

On Wednesday, 1,454 new cases of Covid-19 were reported in Amazonas and 186 people were buried in Manaus, surpassing the previous record set on April 26 when 140 people were buried.

Bolsonaro said Friday that “all means” are being made available to help Amazonas tackle its outbreak, which has been complicated by a new variant of the virus.

His claim came a day after Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello described the healthcare system in the Amazonas state capital, Manaus, as being in “collapse,” and warned of a looming oxygen shortage.

Manaus, globally known as the gateway to the Amazon region, also suffered badly in the first wave of the pandemic between April and May, when its public health and funeral systems collapsed.

CNN’s Laura Smith-Spark, Marcia Reverdosa and Taylor Barnes contributed reporting

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