With oxygen running low, a health care system in Brazil nears collapse.

A scarcity of oxygen tanks within the northern Brazilian state of Amazonas pushed the well being care system to the brink of collapse this week as hospitals turned away sick folks and officers scrambled to move critically in poor health coronavirus sufferers to different states.

The state’s governor, Wilson Lima, stated that Amazonas, which grappled with a excessive variety of circumstances and deaths in Could, was within the grip of a extra critical second wave.

“We’re in a state of struggle,” he stated on Thursday. “We face many difficulties in acquiring provides. Our essential issue has been in buying oxygen.”

Oxygen consumption has risen due to the speedy improve in sufferers who require hospitalization. Nearly 220,000 folks have been infected and 5,879 have died from the virus within the state. With greater than 8.6 million circumstances and 206,000 deaths, Brazil has had one of many world’s worst outbreaks.

Dramatic stories from family members of sufferers and well being professionals shared on social media and in native press stories on Thursday supplied glimpses into the anguish of family members of Covid-19 sufferers and overwhelmed well being care employees.

Jesem Orellana, a researcher on the medical analysis institute Fiocruz-Amazônia, instructed Folha de São Paulo that he had acquired upsetting movies and audio recordings from his friends.

“It leaves the impression that a whole ward of sufferers died because of an absence of oxygen,” he stated.

Different Brazilians, reminiscent of Thalita Rocha, a psychologist who was together with her mother-in-law on the polyclinic Dr. Jose Lins, in Manaus, took to social media, pleading for oxygen donations. “Whoever has oxygen availability, convey it right here to the polyclinic. Many individuals are dying,” she stated. “We’re in a deplorable scenario.”

The disaster occurred after demand for oxygen soared above final 12 months’s peak, in March, when every day consumption averaged 30,000 cubic meters. At the moment, the demand exceeds 70,000 cubic meters.

“That is two and a half occasions increased than final 12 months’s peak,” stated Marcellus Campêlo, the secretary of well being in Amazonas. “We made a contingency plan contemplating the rise in circumstances, however the excessive demand shocked us.”

Over the weekend, the Brazilian Armed Forces started transporting oxygen cylinders from firms based mostly in São Paulo and Fortaleza to Manaus to alleviate the disaster, however officers are scrambling to obtain extra.

Mr. Lima on Thursday imposed a curfew within the metropolis from 7 p.m. to six a.m.

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