The Brazilian state of Amazonas received more emergency supplies of oxygen and respirators on Saturday, as the military and neighboring Venezuela struggled to relieve an unfolding humanitarian crisis caused by a devastating COVID-19 outbreak, Reuters reported.
The army also said it had evacuated 12 patients from hospitals in the capital Manaus to the northern city of Sao Luis overnight, with hospitals at breaking point with no oxygen supplies and overflowing intensive care wards.
Brazil’s Air Force said on Saturday a second flight had landed in Manaus with eight tanks of liquid oxygen, following an earlier emergency delivery of five tanks, and the Navy said in a statement that it is sending 40 respirators.
In the meantime, Venezuela said it has sent the first batch of oxygen supplies on the 1,500-km (930-mile) road trip to Amazonas, which should arrive in Manaus on Sunday.
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said the Venezuelan government “will supply oxygen for the duration of the emergency situation in the state of Amazonas”.
The surge in COVID-19 in Amazonas is attached to a new coronavirus variant.