Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

By Marcolo Silva Dey SOUSA, Associated Press

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) – The Amazonian city of Manaus, Brazil, began vaccinating against coronoviruses, providing a ray of hope for the largest city in the rainforest whose health system collapsed amid infections and increased oxygen supplies Has been

Amazonas State Gov. Wilson Lima led a ceremony that called off the vaccination campaign Monday night in Manaus, on the banks of an isolated river of 2.2 million people.

Wanda Ortega, 33, a member of the Witoto ethnicity, and a nurse technician, received the first dose of Coronavac, a vaccine developed by Beijing-based biopharmaceutical company Synovac.

“I want to thank God and our ancestors,” said Ortega, who is also a volunteer nurse in her indigenous community.

Brazil began its national immunization program on Monday with 6 million doses of Coronavac in about a dozen states, and hopes to receive 46 million doses by April to distribute to the states. Amazon received 256,000 doses.

The state government on Tuesday started distributing the doses to the civic bodies. Priority in the first vaccination phase will be health workers, elderly people above 80 years and indigenous people in about 265 villages.

According to official figures, the Amazon has recorded at least 232,000 cases of the virus since the onset of the pandemic. The state is in the midst of a devastating resurgence of infections and a lack of oxygen supply.

Manaus hospitals have admitted some new COVID-19 patients, with many suffering from illness at home and some have died. And many doctors in Manaus had to choose which COVID-19 patients could breathe, while desperate family members searched for oxygen tanks for their loved ones.

According to officials, four Brazilian Air Force flights per day in the city are being received with average oxygen stock as well as one shipment per day from the city of Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon River.

The government of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro, which Bolonaro regularly criticizes, sent 107,000 cubic meters (3,78 million cubic feet) of caravan of oxygen-laden trucks that would arrive in Amazonas on Tuesday, according to the state government.

Even when Amazon welcomed the endorsement, Bolsonaro criticized Maduro.

“If you want to offer us oxygen, we will get it without any problems,” Bolsonaro said on Monday. “But he (Maduro) can also give emergency assistance to his people, right? Half a kilo of rice is not bought in the minimum wage.”

The government of Amazonas on Monday transferred 18 patients to Goise state by plane. According to the state health secretariat, 112 patients have already been transferred to the state for treatment in the Federal District, Brasilia and other states.

——————————————————————————————————– VideoSornonlist Fernando Crispim contributed to this report by Manaus.

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