Coronavirus patient begs to see his wife from hospital bed
The South American nation has been one of the worst hit in the world, with only the United States recording more deaths. According to a Sky News report the situation has got so bad in Manaus, a city in the Amazon, families of those in hospital are being given empty gas canisters.
They are told they must fill them if they want their relative to have any chance of survival.
Brazil recently began its coronavirus vaccination programme but has just six million vaccine doses available for a population of 211 million.
Soldiers have been brought in to assist in Manaus with some of the critically ill being transported across the country.
Brazil is suffering from a new coronavirus variant that is believed to be more infectious than the original.
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A number of countries, including the UK, have banned visitors from Brazil in a bid to prevent its spread.
Helcio da Silva Maia Neto, a volunteer in Manaus filling oxygen cannisters, called for more assistance.
Speaking to Sky News he said: “I would like to say to everybody listening – please, send help!
“There are more people dying here than in war times, we are living a war, literally, a biological war in our cities our city.
“I’m struggling every day to refill these canisters, facing these difficulties.
“I’ve been here in this queue since last night to refill three canisters.”
“There are days that we take the oxygen and we have to decide, based on the saturation level that they have, which one [patient] we are going to let live and who is going to die. This is the reality every day.”
Brazil has recorded nearly nine million coronavirus cases and 217,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
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This week oxygen tankers were rushed into the country from neighbouring Venezuela.
Brazil’s populist president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been widely criticised for playing down the severity of the pandemic.
Speaking to The Guardian Marcus Lacerda, an infectious disease doctor in Manaus, warned local health services are being overwhelmed.
He said: “It’s a very chaotic situation.
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“We just can’t keep up with the number of patients coming to us.
“Private hospitals don’t want to take anyone else in because they’re afraid of admitting a patient and then running out of oxygen again.”
Currently another 22,000 graves are being dug at the Manaus city cemetery.
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