Inside a Brazilian ICU overwhelmed by Covid-19

By Carlos Meneses Sánchez

Sao Paulo, Mar 13 (efe-epa).- The intensive care unit at the M’Boi Mirim hospital in the suburbs of Sao Paulo looks like a warzone.

Legions of health staff are working at full tilt to attend an overwhelming number of Covoid-19 patients of all ages, a situation of life or death for many in the current global epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic — Brazil.

The constant beeping of heartbeat monitors is interspersed with the hiss of oxygen passing through respirators.

Patients who are not sedated stare blankly into thin air, others grip the side of the bed with their fingers. A middle-aged woman winces in pain and appears to try to say something as she gazes at the ceiling.

Not a single bed is available among the 90 in the public hospital’s ICU.

“This is the worst it’s been. The cases seem more serious than last year,” intensive care doctor Tatiana Scanavachi, 37, tells Efe.

“We have 100% of our ICU beds occupied,” Scanavachi adds.

Sao Paulo City Hall on Friday said it would expand the hospital’s ICU capacity by 100 beds to keep up with the high demand in the region.

It is a snapshot of a healthcare system on the verge of collapse.

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