Despite the minimizations of its president Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil is sinking into the Covid-19 crisis: in the state of Rio de Janeiro, there are up to 4,250 deaths per day. In intensive care, the bed occupancy rate fluctuates between 90 and 100%, and no region is spared. Doctors admit that they no longer sleep on it at night. “We do not know if we will have the means to treat patients, if we will have drugs, if we will have oxygen, the conditions to properly care for patients“, warns Altair Soares Neto, general manager of the Rio hospital.
But it is especially the age of the infected people that worries: most intensive care patients are under 40. In Manaus, in the middle of the Amazon, the virus affects the youngest. “I have seen cases of 19 year old kids who come in with a cough and the next day they are on a ventilator, testify Eddy Wala, a Belgian who works in the fishing industry. A few days later, they died.“
If young people are more affected, it is in particular because many continued to work outside, to provide for the needs of the family. Some also want to forget about the coronavirus. “LThe center is crowded, people move around with and without a mask, note Eddy Wala. There is a total relaxation, the city is calm but people meet go to the store, to the supermarket.“ And even when there are rules to follow, we find a way to get around them. This weekend, 60 bars closed in Manaus. “But if people can’t go to the bar, they go to the middle of the forest with 200 people!“, sighs Eddy Wala.
Since the arrival of the virus, 13 million Brazilians have been infected: this is more than the entire Belgian population. However, the government of Jair Bolsonaro brushes aside the idea of strict containment. “We had 15 days of confinement and now everything is working normally, said Eddy Wala. The government turns a blind eye, we try to avoid the data, but we have it, the media are doing their job. “Statistics that are sometimes shivering: 351,000 deaths from Covid-19 in Brazil, including 66,500 for the month of March 2021 alone …