Pará Governor Hélder Barbalho sees the collapse of the healthcare system in state capital Belém as imminent. Ninety-one percent of the city’s intensive care beds are currently in use. Mr. Barbalho, who tested positive for Covid-19 last week, compared the situation in Belém to Manaus, the capital city of the neighboring state of Amazonas, where the public health system has already capitulated. “We are going through a very critical stage, the situation is extremely serious,” said the governor.
Mr. Barbalho said failures on a municipal level have contributed to the aggravation of the situation. “Primary care units are not doing their part in orientating patients,” adding that “people are going to these primary care units and leaving without treatment, so when they reach us, they are already at a level of aggravation that requires hospitalization.”
In response to the dramatic situation, the state authorized the hiring of 86 Cuban doctors. These professionals will mostly be deployed at the Policlínica Metropolitana in Belém, where up to 400 patients arrive every day. On Tuesday, the clinic had to end operations early as it could not deal with the high demand.