Rio de Janeiro state is still reeling from a corruption scandal involving fraudulent purchases of respirators. The case led to the dismissal of Health Secretary Edmar Santos and placed Governor Wilson Witzel at the center of a Federal Police investigation. To make matters worse, it turns out the state ended up paying for respirators which are unusable for treating Covid-19 patients.
According to newspaper O Globo, government contractor Arc Fontoura was paid for the respirators on the very day its owner was arrested. The contract, worth BRL 68 million, was for the purchase of 400 respirators. It was supposed to be canceled by the state, as Arc Fontoura only delivered 52 ventilators and none of them were suitable for treating Covid-19 patients. However, the company continued receiving payment.
The investigation has led to the arrests of former Deputy Health Secretary Gabriell Neves, his successor Gustavo Borges, and multiple business owners.Support this coverage →