Brazil recorded strong cacerolas in protest against the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, Faced with the collapse and lack of oxygen in the hospitals of the Amazonian city of Manaus, which is experiencing a second wave of the pandemic.
« Out with Bolsonaro! » « Bolsonaro genocida » and « Vacuna ya » shouted enraged from their windows in different neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo or Brasilia numerous Brazilians, who did not demonstrate in this way since the middle of last year, when the country was going through its worst moment of the first wave.
The state of Amazonas, which in April and May last year witnessed mass funerals and the collapse of its health system, has been experiencing a new upswing for a few weeks that saturated hospitals and depleted oxygen reserves.
Images on social networks of people carrying tanks to hospitals, stories of doctors having to manually ventilate their patients and of patients dying asphyxiated scandalized the country; while the local government imposed a curfew for ten days to try to contain the situation.
This Friday, dozens of people lined up in front of an oxygen distributor in the hope of being able to recharge oxygen cylinders for hospitalized relatives.
« It is for my grandmother, the last cylinder is running out and this is a recharge, I don’t know what time I will arrive, but I think I will make it », confided the young David Mafra, turning to carry the heavy tank, almost his height.
Fears rose after the region was identified as the source of a Brazilian variant of the virus that scientists say may be more contagious.
The director of emergencies of the World Health Organization (WHO), Michael RyanHe warned this Friday that « if things continue like this, we are clearly going to see a wave that will be worse than the catastrophic wave of April and May » in the Amazon region.
Lack of oxygen, even for premature babies
The federal government reported that it is sending oxygen cylinders and has begun to transfer patients by plane to other states, in an attempt to relieve the health system of the capital Manaus, located in the heart of the Amazon jungle.
The lack of oxygen is affecting all patients who depend on this input, not only those hospitalized with covid-19.
This is the case of 61 premature babies who, at the limit of running out of their cylinders, were to be transferred to other statess, although the Ministry of Health reported on Friday that it had managed to supply its oxygen reserves to keep them in Manaus for a further 48 hours.
The collapse of the Amazon revived criticism of Bolsonaro and his management of the pandemic, which has already left more than 208,000 dead in Brazil, a balance surpassed only by the United States.
Likewise, various personalities demonstrated on social networks and raised their voices against the president and the serious situation that the country is going through. Among them the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who expressed in a message on his Twitter account his « anguish, concern and indignation » with the « situation of the people of Manaus. »
« Manaus is experiencing a human tragedy unprecedented in its history, pre-announced by the collapse of the health system at the beginning of this pandemic, » added Lula, who thanked the mobilization of artists, the governors of other states and Venezuela, who offered to supply the oxygen that is lacking in hospitals. « From the first day as President of the Republic, Bolsonaro insults the artists and culture, the governors and the Venezuelan people, » said Lula, who thanked the President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, for his solidarity.
Bolsonaro delays program again vaccination
The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, announced a new delay in logistics to search for two million doses of the anticovid vaccine from the laboratory AstraZeneca made in India, news that further stimulated a day of protests that took place in several cities.
« It was all successful to have two million doses available. Only today, at this exact moment, vaccination is beginning in India. It is a country with a billion (inhabitants). So, it was delayed by one or two days until the people begin to be vaccinated there, « Bolsonaro declared in an interview with Rede Bandeirantes.
Brazil, one of the three countries most affected by the new coronavirus pandemic in absolute numbers, along with the United States and India, mounted an operation to bring two million doses of the immunizer to the country this week and make the start of the vaccine official in one act which is scheduled for next Wednesday in Brasilia.
However, the government announced on Thursday that the aircraft would remain in the country one more day to finalize logistical and protocol details with the Government of India, while the president admitted today that the operation will be delayed for a few more days.
« There are also political pressures from one side and the other. That is what I see, but in two or three days, maximum, our plane is going to leave and bring those two million vaccines here, » said Bolsonaro.
The president, a skeptic of the virus who opposed the quarantine measures promoted by governors and defends, instead, the use of drugs that do not have their proven effectiveness against covid-19, also avoided any responsibility on Friday.
« Terrible the problem there [Amazonas]Now we did our part, with resources, means, « he declared.
The South American giant prepares to start its vaccination campaign against covid-19 for this month, but the government has not yet defined a precise date because it is waiting for the health regulator to first authorize the use of the immunizers.
The other immunizer that has requested emergency authorization in Brazil is the Chinese CoronaVac vaccine, whose initial six million doses have already been imported and are in Sao Paulo.