Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said that the healthcare system in the hard-hit Amazonian city of Manaus is in “collapse” during a Facebook live broadcast with President Jair Bolsonaro on Thursday.
“I would say, yes, there is a collapse in healthcare in Manaus. The line to get a hospital bed has grown a lot, today we have about 480 people waiting in line. And the reality is that there is a lower supply of oxygen -- not an interruption, but a lower supply of oxygen,” he said.
Pazuello also said Brazil -- which has yet to commence a vaccination campaign even though its Covid-19 death toll is the second highest in the world, behind only the United States -- will begin to vaccinate people in January, though he did not specify a date.
“In January we will start vaccinating. In the beginning with 2, 6, or 8 million doses. … And in February, we will have mass production, and our National Vaccination Program, which we’ve been doing for 45 years, will get ahead of everyone in the whole world, including the United States.”
The Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency (ANVISA) will meet on Sunday, Jan. 17 to decide whether to give emergency approvals to the Oxford/AstraZeneca and the Sinovac vaccine, according to state-run news agency Agencia Brasil.
Venezuela offers to send oxygen: Venezuela has offered to send oxygen tanks to Amazonas state, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said Thursday. Arreaza said on Twitter that he made the offer during a call with Amazonas Gov. Wilson Lima, and added: “Latin American solidarity above all!”