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Brazil prioritizes ad hoc health facilities to fight COVID-19

Bnamericas Published: Monday, April 13, 2020
Brazil prioritizes ad hoc health facilities to fight COVID-19

Brazil's federal government and local authorities are setting up temporary health units rather than investing in new hospitals to free up funds for masks and gloves, drugs and intensive care equipment.

Last week, the federal government announced a 10mn-real (US$1.96mn) investment for a temporary unit in Aguas Lindas, Goiás state, with 200 adaptable beds for semi-intensive treatment, including tubes and support for respirators.

And on Friday, the federal government started a 4bn-real fund to support local governments in buying intensive care equipment, drugs, and for hiring of health professionals.

In São Paulo, a coronavirus hotspot, governor João Doria decreed the use of stadiums like Pacaembu and Ibirapuera as ad hoc health facilities to treat less complex cases, while patients with serious conditions will be admitted to intensive care units in conventional hospitals.

“Here in the capital of the state we are adding 2,240 low-complexity beds, which are essential to free up health units for high complexity care,” Doria said during a press conference.

The state has already invested around 50mn reais in three such temporary facilities.

So far, Brazil has registered 22,169 confirmed coronavirus cases and 1,223 deaths.

Pictured: São Paulo's Pacaembu soccer stadium serving as temporary health facility.

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