Amazonas Needs Oxygen!


Jan 25, 2021

The state of Amazonas, in Brazil, has 4.2 million inhabitants, of which 2.2 million live in its capital, Manaus. In January 2021, it is registered on a daily basis about 5,000 cases and 50 deaths by COVID-19, reaching a mortality rate of 160 deaths/100,000 inhabitants. Amazonas is the land of 120,000 indigenous people, of whom 15,000 were affected and 221 died of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.

In the last weeks, the populations of Manaus and other cities in the Amazon have been suffering from the lack of medicinal oxygen in hospitals. Seriously unwell COVID-19 patients are preferring to stay at home rather than go to health services where they will not have proper medical assistance.

This dire situation, unfortunately, is not due to any unpredictable event, but to the ineptitude, disdain and neglect of the federal, state and municipal governments. Even though aware of the scarcity of oxygen in hospitals, they have done nothing to prevent the collapse.

As the humanitarian crisis persists, WFPHA draws the attention of the international community, governments and non-governmental organizations to this crisis.

In this context, an intervention by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, especially in the area of the right to health, seems to be very important. In this sense, WFPHA has sent a letter to Ms Tlaleng Mofokeng, Special Rapporteur on the right to health, asking for collaboration in whatever way is necessary to mitigate people’s suffering and establish the right to health in the Amazon.