Doctors in Brazil who were hit hardest were forced to tie COVID-19 patients to their hospital beds before inserting a ventilator down their throats because they no longer had enough sedatives, according to doctors in Rio de Janeiro. “I never thought that I would live through something like this after 20 years of working in intensive care,” Aureo do Carmo Filho told Reuters. “Using mechanical restraint without sedation is bad practice … the patient will be tortured.”
In hospitals where they still have sedatives, healthcare workers are forced to dilute them to make more supplies or use muscle relaxants to calm patients while they are intubated. “They wake up, without the sedative, and they appear, hands tied to the bed and begging us not to let them die,” said one of the nurses.
The chilling admission comes after Doctors Without Borders called Brazil’s response to the pandemic a “humanitarian catastrophe” that is likely only to get worse in the coming weeks. “I have to be very clear on this point: the negligence of the Brazilian authorities took lives,” said MSF international president Christos Christou Thursday after Brazil’s death toll rose to 362,000.
MSF Director General Meinie Nicolai directly blames Brazil’s far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro, who, like former US president Donald Trump, downplayed the pandemic and its own fight with COVID-19, causing many to take deadly risks by not believing the virus is dangerous. or contagious as proven by science.
“There is no coordination in responding. There is no real acknowledgment of the severity of this disease. Science ruled out. Fake news is being distributed and health workers are left alone, ”said Nicolai. “The government disappointed the Brazilian people. All Brazilians can tell you they have people around them who have been buried or intubated in places where there is no medicine and no oxygen. That is unacceptable. “
The lack of medical supplies was compounded by refusals by government officials to even acknowledge the severity of the problem. The P1 variant that was first identified in Brazil has raised international concern, and is now thought to be mutated. France is blocking all flights from the country and other countries are now banning all but essential travel to the beleaguered South American country.
The lack of proper medical supplies has now been accompanied by the launch of a devastating vaccine built on denial and corruption. Only 12 percent of Brazil’s population has received the first dose of the Chinese Coronavac vaccine, which Chinese officials have recently admitted is not very effective at preventing people from becoming seriously ill.
Earlier this week, federal prosecutors in Brazil’s Roraima state opened an investigation after reports emerged that rogue health workers were swapping doses of an ineffective Chinese vaccine, which is mainly offered in the country, illegally. gold that is mined. An advocate for indigenous tribes who own the land where gold is mined said health workers vaccinated clandestine miners under the guise of night to go into hiding, according to Reuters. “The Yanomami have long complained that materials and medicines intended for indigenous health are being diverted to feral cat miners,” the local leader said in a letter seen by Reuters.
More Brazilians die every day than anywhere in the world, with the country recording 3,560 deaths on Thursday alone. Brazil’s health ministry is currently in talks with Spain and other countries to try to get needed supplies to the overwhelmed hospital. Meanwhile, Bolsonaro continues to fight against local governments that have tried to mandate masks or put on a lockdown.