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The clip of the crying woman, which is said to have been recorded this week in the Amazon metropolis of Manaus, was viewed more than three million times on the Instagram social network within a few hours. And should document how dramatic the corona situation is in the Brazilian metropolis.
The short video moves Brazilians like it has not done since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The city with its 2.2 million inhabitants is located in the middle of the Amazon rainforest, which is also known as the “green lung” or “lung of the world”. Initial tests by the University of São Paulo months ago allowed this thesis, but the scientists also warned against jumping to conclusions.
The supply in the hospitals collapses, the funeral homes can no longer keep up with the burials. In one day alone this week, 110 people were buried, which is more than twice as many as in days before the pandemic, according to local media.
During the week there were only 16 free intensive care beds left for the residents of the city. In the interior of the country the situation is even more dramatic, there are hardly any intensive care units anyway.
The situation is now so dramatic that nurses have to ventilate the patients mechanically using hand pumps. “You have to take turns from exhaustion.”
The full burden now rests with the hospitals and their staff, they have to pay for the political failure. Once again.
Loosened too soon, and then came the mutation
The much too early relaxation of the lockdown in December, demanded and celebrated by right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters in parliaments, caused crowds to gather over the holidays.
The corresponding tweets, documented by critics of the Bolsonaro government, are now flying around his ears on social networks. Bolsonaro has always believed that shops, restaurants and retail should stay open so as not to ruin the economy.
The second reason is the occurrence of a virus mutation which, according to the scientists, is significantly more contagious than the previously known variants and which spread enormously at the time when people were getting together again during the relaxation phase. This mutation could have been brought to Manaus by a woman who was previously in Japan and England, reports pulmonologist Efrem. But that has not yet been confirmed.
The re is a lack of data to say how widespread the new virus is and what structure it has.
The government is now trying to save what can be saved and is using military planes to fly the urgently needed oxygen into Manaus. At the same time, patients are being flown out to other cities to make room in the hospitals. However, this is an ordeal for the affected patients, São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro are just under four hours’ flight away.
The catastrophic supply situation now also calls the celebrities on the scene. Comedy stars and influencers are calling for donations in kind and money on social networks in order to be able to support Manaus with oxygen and medical aids.
For once, comedian Whindersson Nunes reported seriously that he had managed to send 20 bottles of 50 liters of oxygen to Manaus. Other artists joined the solidarity campaign. Within a very short time, donations of money equivalent to 50,000 euros were collected.
The administration has failed both at the federal, but also at the regional and local level. It is absolutely incomprehensible that indispensable aids such as oxygen are missing.