Amid shortage, Rio uses veterinary sedatives in Covid-19 patients

sedatives rio de janeiro
Shipment of sedatives for Covid-19 patients. Photo: Felipe Dalla Valle/Palácio Piratini

The shortage of coronavirus health supplies has forced healthcare workers in Rio de Janeiro hospitals to use sedatives, anesthetics, and painkillers provided by a zoonosis control center. Rio’s Health Secretary Daniel Soranz assures that the drugs are not exclusively for veterinary use.

Intensive care units are still overcrowded and the number of hospitalized young people has tripled in the last three months. In response, both public and private networks decided to suspend all elective surgeries, even those in veterinary centers. “It wouldn’t make sense to keep consuming essential items for human care in veterinary units,” Mr. Soranz said. Despite a reduction in the ICU waiting list, 350 people in Rio de Janeiro state are running out of time to be hospitalized.

With 338 deaths recorded in the last 24 hours, Rio currently has the highest Covid-19 mortality rate in Brazil, and its vaccination coverage is the second-lowest in the country, only ahead of Amazonas state.