Private intensive care units in Rio de Janeiro almost at capacity

Rio Governor Wilson Witzel visits hospital. Photo: Philippe Lima/ASCOM-RJ
Rio Governor Wilson Witzel visits Covid-19 field hospital. Photo: Philippe Lima/ASCOM-RJ

The latest survey released by an association of private hospitals shows that the occupancy rates of intensive care units in Rio de Janeiro’s private hospitals already exceeds 90 percent. The network could collapse within 15 days, according to Graccho Alvim, director of the state’s association of hospitals.

On Friday alone, Rio de Janeiro state recorded 15,741 infections and 1,503 deaths — topping São Paulo figures for the first time since the pandemic arrived in Brazil. Another estimate from the Federal Fluminense University (UFF) suggests that the number of cases could double in less than ten days.

As we reported yesterday, Governor Wilson Witzel announced that Rio de Janeiro would extend its quarantine until May 31 — but discarded a statewide lockdown. Certain municipalities, however, have taken upon themselves to implement harsher isolation measures, like Niterói — a city separated from Rio by the Guanabara Bay.