Has the worst of the coronavirus crisis passed in Manaus?

Manaus city center. Photo: Mário Oliveira/SEMCOM
Manaus city center. Photo: Mário Oliveira/SEMCOM

Manaus, the largest city in the Amazon, was the first in Brazil to see its health network collapse amid the pandemic. Dr. Uildeia Galvão, who was one of the frontline workers in the Amazonian city, told website El Pais that she believes the city has overcome the worst of the pandemic. “Now is the time to take care of those that stayed at home,” she said. But while the city’s intensive care unit occupancy rate has dropped to 49 percent, its health woes are far from over.

As the burden placed on the health system has lessened, it is clear that the coronavirus has led to knock-on adverse health effects for those who require treatment for other illnesses. Dr. Galvão noted a marked increase in the number of young people requiring hospitalization after trying to commit suicide and patients recovering from Covid-19 returning to the hospital with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Brazilian Report has analyzed how the social and mental health fallout from the pandemic will linger on even if the disease has been defeated. 

Dr. Galvão also noted that many patients avoided seeking treatment for fear of contracting the coronavirus and that “many people with diabetes are progressing to chronic kidney failure and will have to go on dialysis.” However, according to the doctor, “this is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Data journalist Aline Gatto Boueri analyzed data from Civil Registry transparency platforms and found that in April, the number of people who died in Manaus was 443 percent higher than the average amount for the month over the last four years.

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