Rio de Janeiro, Mar 31 (efe-epa).- The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the biggest health research center in Brazil and Latin America, has begun establishing a field hospital in Rio de Janeiro to treat critical Covid-19 patients and to determine the protocols that will help fight the coronavirus pandemic nationwide.
The unit will augment the efforts of at least 10 other field hospitals for Covid-19 patients announced by authorities in Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian state with the second-highest number of people infected with the virus.
The field hospital will be a reference center for the treatment and research of the virus in Brazil because, besides treating seriously ill patients, it will also undertake clinical trials against Covid-19, which Fiocruz will conduct to determine the effectiveness of four treatments within the framework of a global action plan coordinated by the World Health Organization.
The construction work on the facility, which will take about two months, is in the initial phase with the clearing of the ground, delineating and preparing the cement foundation.
The unit will have 200 beds exclusively for intensive and semi-intensive treatment of critically ill Covid-19 patients.
Fiocruz, linked with the Health Ministry, is in charge of the development and production of most of the vaccines that Brazil uses in its immunization campaigns along with numerous health research projects, mainly to develop new medicines.
The other 10 field hospitals are already being set up at different spots in Rio de Janeiro state and will have a total of 2,400 beds for Covid-19 patients.
One of the field hospitals is being established in the sports complex that surrounds the iconic Maracana stadium, one of the world’s main soccer “temples” and where two World Cups and one set of Olympics Games have been held.
The space, which will have 400 beds, is located in the Celio Barros stadium in the complex and, authorities say, will be ready in 15 days.
According to the latest report from the Health Ministry, at least 201 people have died from Covid-19 in Brazil, where there are more than 5,700 confirmed cases.
The state of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s richest and most populous with more than 44 million people, is the region hardest hit by the pandemic with 2,339 known Covid-19 cases and 136 deaths so far.
Rio de Janeiro state has 657 confirmed cases, 18 of which have been fatal.