Global deaths near 2m
Hospitals in Brazil’s Amazonas short of oxygen
Health workers in Brazil’s largest state are begging for help and oxygen supplies after an explosion of Covid deaths and infections that one official compared to a tsunami and said could be linked to a new variant.
Amazonas, and particularly its riverside capital Manaus, were pummeled by the epidemic’s first wave last April, when authorities were forced to dig mass graves for victims.
But at a press conference on Thursday, the state governor, Wilson Lima, admitted the situation was now even more dramatic and declared an immediate 7pm to 6am curfew to slow the outbreak.
“We are facing the most critical moment of the pandemic, something unprecedented in the state of Amazonas,” Lima told reporters as he announced the restriction.
As he spoke, horrific details were emerging of a breakdown in Manaus’s public health system, with reports of many patients dying after public hospitals and emergency care units ran out of oxygen. More than 206,000 people have now died across Brazil, the second highest total in the world after the US: