Brazil’s Amazonas state is running out of oxygen as COVID-19 rises By Reuters

2/2 © Reuters. Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Manaus 2/2

By Bruno Kelly MANAUS, Brazil (Reuters) – The Brazilian state of Amazonas is running out of oxygen amid a further surge in deaths from COVID-19, its government said on Thursday, as news reports said people who They were wearing respirators and were dying of suffocation. in hospitals. Health authorities in the state capital Manaus said oxygen had been depleted in some hospitals and intensive care units were so full that dozens of patients would be flown to six other states. Governor Nelson Lima announced a statewide curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. to halt the spread of the coronavirus in a devastating second wave that has pushed emergency services to the limit. Brazil is home to the world’s second-deadliest coronavirus outbreak after the United States, and Manaus was one of the first Brazilian cities to creak under a death toll and spiraling case load from the first wave of the pandemic last year. past. Now, many people are dying again at home from COVID-19. To make matters worse, a new variant of the virus was detected in Japan on Sunday in four people who had come from the Amazon. Researchers have not established how infectious or lethal the variant is, but the Fiocruz biomedical center said it had detected the virus in a 29-year-old woman who had already tested positive for COVID-19 nine months earlier. The neighboring state of Pará announced Thursday that it was banning travel boats coming down the river from the Amazon, citing an increase in cases and the identification of the new variant of the virus. State Health Secretary Marcellus Campelo said the state needs nearly three times more oxygen than it can produce locally and has requested supplies from other states. Public health experts gave dramatic accounts of people dying from COVID-9 in ICU without oxygen. “The oxygen ran out and hospitals have become asphyxia chambers,” Fiocruz-Amazonia researcher Jesem Orellana told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper. “Patients who do survive could suffer permanent brain damage,” he said.

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