Hospitals in Manaus Run Out of Oxygen; Researcher Says Hospital Beds Became Suffocation Chambers

Patients are being transferred to Piauí and other states

The situation in Manaus has worsened again in the last few hours, according to reports by hospital administrators and professionals working in the care of Covid-19 patients.

Researcher Jesem Orellana, from Fiocruz-Amazônia, says that he has received dramatic video, audio, and telephone reports from people working on the front lines of health care units.

"They are reporting effusively that oxygen has runout in hospitals like the Getúlio Vargas University Hospital (HUGV) and emergency services, such as the SPA José de Jesus Lins de Albuquerque," he says. "There is information that an entire ward of patients died for lack of air," he added.

At 2:03 pm, the hospital staff sent a message to Folha stating that the three dead patients were in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit), and one of them was in the clinic. They also said that the HUGV had recently received oxygen to temporarily stabilize the situation of all patients and that "it continues to do its best to normalize the situation."

The administrative leader of Universidade Federal do Amazonas, Dean Sylvio Puga, confirmed the dire situation. According to him, patients are being transferred to Piauí and other states.

"The oxygen ran out and hospitals became suffocation chambers," said researcher Jesem Orellana. "Patients who manage to survive will likely have permanent brain damage."

Folha sought the Hospital Getúlio Vargas. ICU professionals declined to comment.

On Tuesday, 12, President Jair Bolsonaro blamed the state government of Amazonas and the city of Manaus for allowing the oxygen destined for patients in Covid-19 wards to run out.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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