Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) called on Brazilian authorities to urgently acknowledge the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic and put in place a central Covid-19 response and coordination system.
“More than 12 months into Brazil’s Covid-19 emergency, there is still no effective, centralized and coordinated public health response to the outbreak,” the agency said in a news release Thursday.
“The lack of political will to adequately respond to the pandemic is killing Brazilians in their thousands. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is urgently calling on Brazilian authorities to acknowledge the severity of the crisis and to put in place a central COVID-19 response and coordination system to prevent further avoidable deaths.”
Brazilians accounted for 11% of global infections and 26.2% of global deaths last week, according to the release, adding on April 8, more than 4,000 deaths and more than 86,000 new cases were reported in a 24 hour period. MSF say that these “staggering figures” are evidence of failure of authorities to manage the crisis and protect Brazilians.
“More than a year into this Covid pandemic, the failed response in Brazil has caused a humanitarian catastrophe,” said Dr. Christos Christou, international president of MSF during a news briefing, also on Thursday.
Christou said that even with new record of deaths and infections each week and overflowing hospitals, there is still no coordinated, centralized response.
Health workers are exhausted, he said, and have been left alone to pick up the pieces of a failed government response and improvise solutions. He added that medical facilities are running low on essential medical supplies, and material needed to save lives.
“I have to be very clear on this, the Brazilian authorities negligence is costing lives,” he said. “Public health messages have become associated with political messages, and as a doctor I cannot accept it.”
He also said that science and evidence based medicine have been undermined, which is not just a problem of fake news and disinformation, but also a seeming lack of political will to control the pandemic.