Manaus in Brazil’s Amazon Region Ravaged by COVID-19
April 24, 2020 (EIRNS)—The deadly coronavirus pandemic has begun to hit the impoverished nations of the so-called Third World— less-developed nations that have far less ability to address the crisis than the countries of Europe or the United States, which are in bad enough shape themselves.
Manaus is a sprawling, impoverished city of 2 million on Brazil’s Amazon River, deep in the interior of the South American continent, and it is often referred to as the “gateway” to the entire Amazon region. Today it is being devastated by a rising flood of COVID-19 cases which the city’s health infrastructure is incapable of handling. According to numerous international media accounts, bodies are piling up in refrigerated trucks outside swamped hospitals; doctors can’t keep up with the skyrocketing number of cases, and they have next to zero protective equipment; and bulldozers are digging mass graves at cemeteries.
“It is a scene out of a horror movie. We are no longer in a state of emergency, but rather of absolute calamity,” Manaus Mayor Virgilio Neto told Agence France-Presse (AFP) by telephone. “People are dying at home, some perhaps because they got no medical care,” Neto said.
AFP reported: “The pandemic is expected to peak here starting in May, but 90% of the city’s beds in intensive care units are already occupied.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has gained international notoriety for repeatedly referring to COVID-19 as “a little flu,” and demanding that there be no social measures taken to limit its spread.