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United States donates $300,000 to fight COVID-19 in the Amazon region of Brazil.

Manaus coronavirus

Image Credit: Bruno Kelly/ Reuters

The United States government announced that it will donate $300,000 (R$ 1.5million) through the International Development Agency (USAID) to fight COVID-19 in the hard-hit region of the Amazon in Brazil.

The money will go to an emergency fund which is used to fight COVID-19 in the Amazonian region.

Since the start of COVID-19’s state of emergency, the US and Brazilian governments have been working closely together to identify needs and help meet the different priorities that arise in the pandemic. I am delighted to be able to announce these additional resources at this time of crisis.

Ambassador Todd Chapman.

The biggest city in Amazon, Manaus was hit hard with the recent surge in coronavirus cases. Back in late 2020, it was believed that the population of Manaus achieved herd immunity, but the continuous disregard of social distancing and mask wearing in the city of 2 million, brought about a surge in new cases in early January bigger than the one seen in early 2020. The health system collapsed, and people started dying at an alarming rate. To make matters worse, hospitals ran out of oxygen, and a new virus variant emerged from the Amazon. The strain is more contagious, but there is no evidence that the new strain P.1 results in worse symptoms. The P.1 strain was found in 91 per cent of 35 samples taken from the Amazonian region, showing that it took hold, and will most likely be the main variant in the coming weeks.

Several Brazilian regions donated vaccines and oxygen barrels in an attempt to control the chaos caused by the new strain of coronavirus. The country of Brazil is the second worst hit country in the world, registering 9,449,000 cases and more than 230,000 deaths.

In response to the mess ongoing in the city of Manaus in the Amazon, Brazil’s prosecutor-general Augusto Aras opened a preliminary investigation into the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello. This was initiated as the Brazilian President and Health Minister were heavily criticized for their hands-off approach. They still promoted the use of hydroxychloroquinone, and they did not enforce COVID-19 rules, bringing about a chaos in the country of 200 million.

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