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In Manaus, hospitals overloaded with lack of oxygen

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Crisis situation in Manaus, in the northwest of Brazil. The city’s hospitals are overwhelmed and facing a shortage of oxygen. The army comes to reinforce and the most seriously affected patients are transferred to other cities of the country to face this brutal second wave, the origin of which could well be the Amazonian variant of Covid-19.

Manaus, as in the whole of the state of Amazonas, in Brazil, overwhelmed by the upsurge in severe cases of Covid-19, is the scene of health chaos. In front of this public hospital in the city, relatives of victims have sometimes been sleeping on the ground for several days and entrusting themselves to God for healing.

The services are saturated, and it is a question of dealing with the most urgent. Alexandre has been waiting three hours for news of his interned daughter for the second time in a few weeks. “They are going to give her medicine and they will have to take her out to make room for people who need it even more,” he explains. “Most of the people here have respiratory complications.”

The screening sorting center no longer works in this hospital. Only serious cases arriving by ambulance are still received, like this woman who can barely stand up. A relative explains about her: “It’s hopeless, I went to four care units and I had to cry to arrive [à la faire hospitaliser]”.

Manaus has suffered from an oxygen shortage for several days. So individuals manage to rescue their loved ones. This man, for example, will have to obtain supplies from a private supplier to bring oxygen to his hospitalized grandmother.

The violence of this new wave hitting Manaus could be caused by the Amazonian variant of the virus, which is said to be more contagious.

Rodrigo’s entire family is in intensive care. He explains: “Some have managed to find a place on the other side of the country. There are too many people, forty patients for one nurse. Some nurses even sleep in the hospital.”

Faced with this saturation, the most seriously affected patients will be transferred by plane to other Brazilian hospitals.

The army also came to the rescue in the city just a few days ago. And elsewhere, such as in Rio de Janeiro, it is getting organized and has deployed a self-sufficient oxygen field hospital, where 70 patients can be treated, including four in intensive care.


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