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The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro.
Caracas, Jan 17 2021 – The president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, said this Sunday that his country donated 14,000 individual oxygen cylinders to Brazil, equivalent to 136,000 liters, to help in the hospital collapse of Manaus, the largest city in the Brazilian Amazon.
The shipment is on its way “made up of six tanks with a total of 136,000 liters of oxygen, equivalent to 14,000 individual cylinders or cylinders,” said Maduro when reading a message on his mobile from the governor of the state of Bolívar, bordering Brazil, Justo Noguera .
Maduro did not clarify whether it is a new shipment, since on Saturday the Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, had reported that several trucks loaded with oxygen cylinders would leave Venezuela that same day, without offering details about the donation.
The president only indicated that the cylinders will arrive early tomorrow at the border with Brazil, in Santa Elena de Uairén, where they will be delivered to the authorities of the neighboring country.
“It is estimated that they can arrive (in Manaus) 14 hours later,” he added while stressing that Venezuela must give its life “if necessary for solidarity, love.”
The support is provided while various NGOs and the Venezuelan opposition denounce the shortage of medical supplies and medicines in public hospitals in Venezuela, which have been going through a serious crisis for more than five years.
Venezuela’s aid to Brazil took shape last Thursday, when Maduro ordered the foreign minister to communicate with the Manaus authorities to make available the necessary oxygen to tackle the emergency.
On the same day that help was ordered, a group of motorist paramedics, who work independently and are known as “Angeles de las Vías”, denounced, through their Instagram account, that they had been looking for a hospital for 14 hours to enter a patient infected with covid-19, without being able to receive it for not having “quotas”.
After more than half a day, he was admitted to the José María Vargas Hospital, one of the main in Caracas, but later the doctors at the center recommended his transfer to another because they did not have oxygen, while this product is offered to the neighboring country.
The patient, finally, was admitted to the field hospital that the Government set up in the Poliedro de Caracas, an area designed for large events and transformed into a receiving center for patients with covid-19.
THE COLLAPSE IN MANAUS
Manaus has been experiencing a curfew of eleven hours a day since Thursday – between 7:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the next day – in the face of the health chaos caused by covid-19 and that forced the authorities to send their patients to other cities.
The measure was announced by the governor of the state of Amazonas, who admitted that, in addition to hospitals without capacity and overflowing cemeteries, Manaus, the regional capital, faces a serious lack of oxygen cylinders for patients hospitalized by covid-19 that are connected to mechanical respirators.
Brazil, with its 210 million inhabitants, is one of the epicenters of the pandemic and the second country with the most deaths in the world from covid-19, after the United States, with almost 210,000 deaths.
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