Amidst the scorching heat, dozens of people have been waiting for 12 hours to fill up oxygen bottles in an attempt to rescue relatives in Manaus, the capital of the Amazon state, which is located in the middle of the Amazonian forests (lungs of the world) known by nicknames such as “the heart of the Amazon” and “the city of the forests” sunken. In chaos due to the large increase in the number of Corona patients (Covid 19).
“The oxygen is still arriving, but we do not know how long it will remain,” said the evangelist priest Fernando Marcelino, standing near his empty bottle in front of the point of sale of a company operating in the industrial zone in the Amazon. You should pay between 300 and 600 riyals ($ 57 to 114) to fill an oxygen bottle intended for home use, depending on its size..
“Here, every family has someone who is treated at home. We’d rather do that than let them die in hospital,” said Marcelino, who wears masks, gloves and goggles.“.
In Manaus Hospitals, an industrial center with a population of two million, a lack of oxygen, which is vital for artificial respiration provided to people with severe forms of the emerging corona virus, caused the death of dozens of people at the end of last week..
Nursing staff are exhausted as they often lead a losing battle to save lives, while doctors are forced to perform manual breathing for patients, while others die from suffocation..
“It is inhumane,” a Manaus resident said, showing a video clip on his phone showing a hospital being completely full as patients piled on stretchers in the corridors.
In recent days, the death rate associated with the virus in Manaus increased from 142 to 187 per 100,000 people, almost double the national rate (100 deaths per 100,000 people) in Brazil, where more than 213,000 people died from (Covid 19)..
And the sharp rise in the number of infections, according to specialists, may be due to the spread of a mutated version of the Corona virus in the Amazon region, which is likely to be the most severe infection, such as the one that appeared in the United Kingdom and South Africa.
The government, which has been criticized for not responding to a lack of oxygen, in recent days has increased shipments of bottles of oxygen to hospitals by plane or boat..
Located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, Manaus does not have many paved roads, which is a real logistical problem..
The 32-year-old Roberto Freitas who kept searching for two days to fill an oxygen bottle in order to keep a relative alive “It was the worst Saturday and only a small amount of oxygen was left.”
Roberto was finally able to get a small bottle, before setting off again in the middle of the night to book a role on the waiting list when he learned that there was a company selling oxygen in the industrial area.
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