- BBC World News
Brazil is going through a historic collapse in its health services due to the coronavirus.
At that time, 25 of the 27 states in that country have more than 80% of their intensive care units occupied, according to a report from the Fiocruz health institute.
And in states like Rio Grande do Sul there are no more beds available.
The collapse is a consequence of the critical moment that Brazil is going through, which registered its record number of deaths in a single day from covid-19 on March 16.
The death toll that day was 2,841 and far exceeds the 2,286 deaths that occurred on March 10.
“The analysis of our researchers suggests that it is the largest collapse of the health service in the history of Brazil,” said Marcelo Queiroga, the new Brazilian Minister of Health.
Its about fourth minister of health that Brazil has since the pandemic started.
As soon as he took office, health officials in the most populous state of the South American nation, Sao Paulo, asked him to consider imposing a national closure in the face of the record numbers of deaths that are registered.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been criticized for months for his policies to handle the pandemic.
The president systematically opposed quarantine measures introduced by various state governors, arguing that the collateral damage to the economy would be worse than the effects of the virus itself.
Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Queiroga urged Brazilians to wear masks and wash their hands, but stopped short of suggesting the alternative of a lockdown or new social distancing measures.
The cardiologist maintains that “the closures were used in extreme situations and cannot be central government policy.”
That statement provoked a strong response from Joao Gabbardo, head of the emergency group for the covid-19 of Sao Paulo.
From his Twitter account, Gabbardo pointed out that a point has been reached where private hospitals request space in the public health system due to the demand for intensive care beds.
“When (Queiroga) takes office, he will face the worst figures of the pandemic,” the expert tweeted, adding that the new minister should not oppose a national quarantine.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro did not stop questioning the dangers of the pandemic and last week asked the population to “stop complaining“for the coronavirus.
Brazil has the second highest number of infections and deaths in the world, behind the United States.
In total, the country registered more than 11.6 million confirmed infections and 282,000 deaths as of March 16 since the pandemic began.
The latest increase in cases is attributed to the spread of highly contagious variants of the virus.
The Brazilian government not only faces questions about its prevention policies. It is also criticized for the slow process of vaccine distribution.
Brazil has the immunization doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca and the Chinese CoronaVac.
The Bolsonaro administration also placed orders for vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, and Russia’s Sputnik V.
However, only about 4.6% of the population have received a dose.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.