Brazil faces the worst moment of the health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the daily average of deaths above 1,000 for 39 days, reaching more than 255,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. There were 30,484 deaths only in February. The health system collapse, previously restricted to the state of Amazonas, now affects several states which have more than 90% of the ICU beds to care for patients with COVID-19 occupied.
Therefore, the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass, in its acronym in Portuguese) released a statement asking for the adoption of urgent measures to prevent the total collapse of public and private health services. The entity warned that the measures can only be carried out by governors and mayors if the whole of Brazil – including Federal Government, civil society and representatives of industry and commerce – adheres to a “National Pact for Life”.
Among the measures, Conass asks for a national curfew from 8pm to 6am; stricter restrictions on the operation of non-essential activities; the prohibition of face-to-face events such as concerts and sports and religious activities; closing of airports and roads, among others.
“The absence of a unified and coherent national approach made it difficult to adopt and implement qualified measures to reduce social interactions”, says the document.
Businessmen also unite to avoid chaos in Health
Businessmen from the United for the Vaccine movement acted to approve the bill passed by the Senate last week for the purchase of vaccines, including by the private sector, reported the newspaper Valor Econômico.
The bill, to be scrutinized by the Brazil’s lower house of Congress, determines that half of the vaccines bought by the private sector must be donated to SUS (the Brazilian Unified Health System).
The goal of the group led by businesswoman Luiza Helena Trajano, president of the Magazine Luiza’s board of directors, was to immunize all Brazilians by September – which seems increasingly difficult.
Entrepreneurs who support President Jair Bolsonaro are also mobilizing to buy vaccines, according to the report. Carlos Wizard Martins, Sforza group’s owner (owner of the Pizza Hut chain, among others), and Luciano Hang, owner of the Havan, are leading the project to purchase vaccines after June, when is expected to ended the priority groups’ vaccination.