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Italy suspended flights from Brazil due to new strain of coronavirus

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Italy suspended all flights from Brazil (EFE / EPA / TELENEWS / File)

Italy suspended all flights from Brazil and prohibited the arrival of those who have transited through the Latin American country in the last 15 days in fear of the new variant of coronavirus.

This was announced on social networks by the Italian Minister of Health, Roberto Speranza, who also asked those who have arrived in Italy in recent days from Brazil to undergo a test to detect coronavirus.

Speranza explained that it is essential that national scientists study in depth this variant and meanwhile, prudence has been chosen.

Italy made the same decision a few weeks ago after detecting a British variant of the virus considered more contagious.

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An ordinance was signed that blocks flights leaving from Brazil and prohibits the entry to Italy of those who have passed through there in the last 14 days. Anyone who is already in Italy, coming from that territory, must undergo a swab contacting the prevention departments ”, Speranza said on Twitter.

This decision was made after the United Kingdom suspended all flights from Brazil and the rest of South America, and after the sanitary overflow in the Brazilian Amazon region.

Thursday, Boris Johnson’s government announced the ban on flight arrivals from 14 Latin American countries, as a result of the new variant of COVID-19 detected in Brazil.

The Secretary of Transportation, Grant Shapps, reported that the measure, which came into effect on Friday, covers Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.

It also includes the African Cape Verde and Portugal for their “strong travel links with Brazil,” the official explained.

The restriction does not apply to British, Irish and resident citizens, but those passengers who return from these countries must isolate themselves for 10 days.

A patient is transferred in Manaus (Michael DANTAS / AFP)
A patient is transferred in Manaus (Michael DANTAS / AFP)

Sanitary collapse

The serious health collapse caused by the lack of beds and oxygen for patients with COVID-19 in Manaus, the largest city in the Brazilian Amazon, continued this Friday despite the transfer of patients to other cities and the arrival of oxygen cylinders on military planes.

The chaos experienced in the capital of the state of Amazonas and the scenes of runs in hospitals, desperate and exhausted doctors, overflowing cemeteries and relatives of patients imploring for oxygen or buying it on the black market, provoked an intense mobilization throughout Brazil, with the Government offering military aircraft to transport medical supplies and patients.

The lack of beds in the intensive care units of Manaus hospitals and the lines of patients waiting for a bed in the infirmaries remained unchanged despite the government launched a campaign to transfer at least 235 less serious patients to other cities.

Data from the regional government indicate that Manaus, a city of 2.2 million inhabitants, registered a record 254 new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 on Thursday, the highest number since the start of the pandemic, which aggravated the health collapse in a state that accumulates 223,360 infections and 5,930 deaths from the disease.

About 400 patients await a bed in hospitals.

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Ben Oakley
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