Saturday, October 16

‘Humanitarian catastrophe’: Brazil’s response to Covid-19 criticized by MSF | Brazil


The Brazilian government’s negligent response to Covid-19 has plunged the South American country into a snowball-shaped “humanitarian catastrophe” that is likely to intensify in the coming weeks, the medical NGO Doctors Without Borders warned.

“I have to be very clear on this: the negligence of the Brazilian authorities is costing lives,” the group’s international president, Christos Christou, told reporters on Thursday after the official death toll in Brazil rose to more than 362,000. , only surpassed by the United States.

Meinie Nicolai, MSF director general, said that the actions of the Brazilian government, which under its far-right leader, Jair Bolsonaro, has downplayed the epidemic, avoided containment measures and promoted unscientific treatments, had made it into “a threat to your country.” own population ”.

“There is no coordination in the response. There is no real recognition of the severity of the disease. Science is put aside. Fake news is being distributed and health workers are left alone, ”Nicolai said.

“The government is failing the Brazilian people… All Brazilians can tell you that they have people around them who have been buried or intubated. [in places] where there is no drugs or oxygen. This is unacceptable, ”Nicolai added.

When asked if the Bolsonaro government had responded worse than any other on Earth, Nicolai agreed on the basis that Brazil did not learn from the global experience of more than a year in the fight against Covid using techniques such as distancing. physical, testing and tracking and promotion of the face. More expensive. “Is it the worst not to implement what is known? I would say yes, ”said the head of MSF.

There is growing international concern about the uncontrolled outbreak in Brazil and the spread of the most contagious P1 variant linked to the Brazilian Amazon. This week the fears about that variant saw France suspends flights from the largest country in South America, with Prime Minister Jean Castex, lamenting The “absolutely dramatic situation” in Brazil. The British Foreign Office advises against all but essential travel to Brazil, where a surge in infections has led to a historic collapse of healthcare nationwide.

But Nicolai said that the behavior of the Brazilian government was above all a danger to Brazilians, 80% of whom were still susceptible to Covid-19. That meant Brazil was likely to see “an even more catastrophic situation” in the coming months, he warned.

Christou said that Brazilian health workers were “physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted” and that they had been “left alone to pick up the pieces of a failed government response.”

“Everyone I have spoken to in Brazil asked the same thing: the authorities must take this disease seriously, they say … People are desperate, they are in mourning and they need help.”

Bolsonaro and his supporters defend the government’s response, claiming that its resistance to containment measures is designed to protect the economy. On Monday, Bolsonaro’s son-in-law Eduardo falsely claimed on Twitter that the blockade helped spread the coronavirus. The social media company later said the message had violated its rules on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information about the pandemic.


www.theguardian.com

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