Brazil’s Health Minister Shrugs off Pressing Need for New Hospitals in Manaus

Brazilian Health Minister Nelson Teich Monday contended the need to arrange a new hospital to combat the coronavirus pandemic in the worst-hit Manaus, even as the town’s hospitals are overwhelmed, and officers have decided to bury COVID-19 victims in mass graves.

Manaus, situated in the core of the Amazon rainforest, is arguably the worst-hit of all main cities in Brazil, which has registered over 105,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,000 deaths as of Monday. While the total number of cases is bigger in some cities, public health infrastructure in Manaus is especially missing, well-being officers say.

Teich’s popular predecessor, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, who was removed in April amid spats with President Jair Bolsonaro, had promised the federal government would set up a brief “campaign hospital” in Manaus in May to deal particularly with cases of COVID-19, the respiratory illness brought on by the novel coronavirus.

“Before thinking about a campaign hospital, now we have to consider how we optimize the situation here. The hospital is large, with the area to grow,” Teich stated, whereas visiting the Nilson Tins Hospital in Manaus.

Bolsonaro has also downplayed the danger of the coronavirus, calling it little flu.

The state of Amazonas, where Manaus is positioned, registered 2,374 natural deaths in April, whereas 801 deaths in April 2019.