During a remote meeting of a congressional committee monitoring Brazil’s Covid-19 response, the president of a major domestic oxygen producer claimed he was warned the Armed Forces would seize part of the company’s supply on Thursday evening.
“I’ve just received a letter from the Health Ministry saying the Army will come here today, at 6 pm, to confiscate two of our oxygen trailers, and that they also want to confiscate [oxygen] cylinders,” said Newton de Oliveira head of Indústria Brasileira de Gases (IBG), the country’s largest homegrown producer of medical oxygen.
“It’s absurd, we’re going to have to leave our clients without supplies,” he added.
On Monday, The Brazilian Report’s Brasília correspondent Renato Alves explained that multiple states and municipalities are facing severe oxygen shortages amid a spike in coronavirus cases.
Also present at the meeting, Ridauto Lúcio Fernandes, from the logistics department of the Health Ministry, ensured that the letter was an error. “If you received this request, it was an administrative mistake and you can ignore it.”
“We are merely consulting industries to assess the best way to request this material. It wouldn’t be a confiscation, requisition is provided for by law,” explained Mr. Fernandes.Support this coverage →