An emergency shipment of tranquilizers needed to intubate seriously ill COVID-19 patients came to Brazil from China late Thursday as the South American country searches for supplies due to the severe shortage of vital medicines.
In the past few days, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have been sounding the alarm over the shortage of tranquilizers. Sao Paulo Health Minister said the city’s ability to care for seriously ill COVID-19 patients was on the verge of collapse.
Brazil has become the epicenter of the pandemic. More Brazilians die from the virus every day than anywhere else in the world.
President Jair Bolsonaro has spoken out against bans and has held large events at which he often does not wear a mask. He has only recently considered vaccines as a possible solution.
The load of 2.3 million drugs donated by major Brazilian companies like miner Vale and oil producer Petrobras landed in Sao Paulo shortly after 10 p.m. Local time.
As the health crisis worsens, Brazil is also negotiating emergency supplies with other countries. Donations from Spain are expected to arrive next week.
Brazil has recorded a total of 365,444 coronavirus deaths – second only to the US – and 13,746,681 confirmed COVID-19 cases.