Bolsonaro says to stop ‘whining’ as deaths surge
President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil launched a new attack Thursday on critics of his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, telling to stop “whining”.
“Enough fussing and whining,” he told a public event. “How much longer will the crying go on? We have to face the problems.”
His comments came as researchers in Brazil raced to develop new tests to detect COVID-19 variants believed to be driving a new wave of infections sweeping the country.
The state of Sao Paulo was under a red alert Thursday as local hospitals neared capacity.
The Dell Antonia field hospital set up last year is now at 87% capacity, according to local health officials.
Marcelo Franze, a nurse there, said it was meant to be a temporary facility but it’s now needed more than ever before.
“The daily number of hospitalizations is growing, lots of patients arriving and in more serious condition,” Franze declared, adding he had never seen the situation so dire.
Brazil marked a grim record of 1,910 deaths in one day on March 3, and the climbing rate of infections is causing alarm amongst policy makers and health care officials.
At the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of São Paulo, Camila Romano is working with other researchers to devise testing to detect variants to COVID-19.
“We have redesigned this test (PCR testing) and it will show if an individual is positive or negative for the virus but also if they are positive for the variant of concern. Now we have three of major concern: the P1 (Manaus), the UK and the South African,” Romano noted.
Health authorities are pushing to expand a mass immunization program to alleviate the number of infections, but the effort has been hampered by irregular vaccine supplies and poor management.
State health officials have pledged to ramp up inoculations, but state authorities say that until that happens, restrictions will have to be applied to manage the crisis.
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