RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – 6,370 Brazilians with Covid-19 were, on Thursday, March 25th, waiting for an ICU bed, according to data from the National Council of State Health Secretaries (Conass) obtained exclusively by news site Jornal Nacional.
The Conass figures give an idea about the situation in the states: in São Paulo, there are 1,500 people on the wait list, in Minas Gerais almost 714, in Rio de Janeiro 582, and in Paraná 501.
“Today, more than 6,000 patients are waiting for an ICU bed. The health care system has already collapsed. It means that we are losing patients on the waiting list, who will not have a chance to access an ICU. They will simply die waiting,” said CONASS president Carlos Lula
“If the health ministry does not take urgent measures very shortly, we are no longer talking about 3,000 daily deaths, we might be talking about 4,000.”
About the overcrowding in ICUs, the Ministry of Health said that, since the beginning of the pandemic, it has provided unrestricted support to states, municipalities, and the Federal District. This year alone federal funding allowed the opening of 12,200 ICU beds all over the country.
Conass affirmed that the health ministry recognizes the gravity of the situation. Apart from emergency beds, the country needs supplies used in these ICU beds, such as oxygen and drugs for intubation.
Lara Kretzer, coordinator of the Task Force of the Association of Intensive Care Physicians made a dramatic comparison about the situation in ICUs: “We are experiencing a war scenario. We have no way to put the tragedy into words. It’s not just one person dying, it’s whole families dying in here.”