São Paulo turns to private sector as ICUs exceed 90-percent occupancy

São Paulo turns to private sector as ICUs exceed 90% occupancy
São Paulo government officials visit ICU. Photo: GovSP

São Paulo Lieutenant Governor Rodrigo Garcia declared that the state administration will seek help from the private sector to ensure a steady supply of medical oxygen in public hospitals. The decision comes as São Paulo’s intensive care units hit 91.2 percent occupancy. Hospitalizations increased by 18 percent this week as Brazil’s wealthiest state is on the brink of a Covid-19 collapse. 

Last week, one Covid-19 patient died while awaiting an ICU vacancy. 

According to Mr. Garcia, Brazilian mega brewer Ambev will donate around 125 oxygen cylinders a day to treat coronavirus patients. The government stated it is accepting donations from any company, especially due to a lack of support from the federal government, which pays for just 20 percent of the state’s 5,800 public ICU beds, violating a Supreme Court decision

Situation in Brazil’s biggest state 

On Friday, the state’s top health official Jean Gorinchteyn said 71 of São Paulo’s municipalities were facing a health collapse, including the megacity of São Paulo itself. This afternoon, Mr. Gorinchteyn said this number has fallen to 61 cities.Last week, the state government brought forward a series of public holidays in an attempt to dissuade people from leaving home. São Paulo will not have a single business day from March 26 and April 4.

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