People in the Brazilian state of Amazonas are reportedly suffocating to death as the state runs out of oxygen during a new surge in coronavirus cases.
Amazonas health secretary Marcellus Campelo has appealed to other states for more supplies, noting that the state needs nearly three times more oxygen that it can produce locally, according to NBC News.
As the situation turns dire, hospitals have no choice but to remove people from oxygen, according to the report.
“The oxygen ran out and the hospitals have turned into suffocation chambers,” Fiocruz-Amazonia researcher Jesem Orellana told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper, according to NBC News. “Patients who manage to survive could suffer permanent brain damage.”
Raissa Floriano said she was forced to try and find an oxygen cylinder to save her 73-year-old father Alfonso after he was removed from oxygen, according to the report. Relatives of family members in hospitals have reportedly begun protesting against the fact that patients seriously ill from the coronavirus were being removed from ventilators due to the lack of oxygen.
Health officials have warned that “many people” could die, according to BBC. (RELATED: FACT CHECK: Does This Video Show Brazilian Officials Breaking Into An Empty Hospital That Claimed To Have 5,000 COVID-19 Patients?)
A clip of a medical worker posted to Twitter shows how dire the situation has become as she pleads for help.
“We’re in an awful state. Oxygen has simply run out across the whole unit today,” she says, according to BBC.
???? NÃO TEM CILINDROS DE OXIGÊNIO EM VÁRIOS HOSPITAIS E OUTRAS UNIDADES DE SAÚDE EM MANAUS!
Tem gente morrendo sufocada porque não consegue respirar pela falta desses cilindros. Tem um genocídio acontecendo!! pic.twitter.com/vu2T56DPHK
— OXIGÊNIO PARA MANAUS | ???????????? (@pamtaketomi) January 14, 2021
“There is no oxygen and lots of people are dying. If anyone has oxygen, please bring it to the clinic. There are so many people dying.”
Amazonas has appealed to the U.S. to send a military transport plane to the capital City Manaus with oxygen cylinders, according to NBC News.
Governor Nelson Lima has implemented a statewide curfew from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. in an attempt to stop the spread of the coronavirus, according to NBC News.
Brazil has the world’s second-deadliest outbreak after the United States, according to the report.