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Folhapress

With hundreds in the queue, the country has 19 capitals with ICU capacity above 90%

SÃO PAULO, SP (FOLHAPRESS) – With hundreds of people queuing for a vacancy, 19 Brazilian capitals are over 90% occupied in public ICUs for critically ill patients at Covid-19, even with the creation of 520 ICUs since the week last. The data are from a survey carried out by the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper with city halls and state governments on Monday (29). Five capitals no longer have any vacancies available – Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Porto Velho and, for the first time with maximum occupancy, Campo Grande and Rio Branco. In the capital of Acre, the two referral hospitals for Covid-19 have had 100% of the ICUs occupied since March 26. At the Hospital de Clínicas de Rio Branco, the occupancy rate of clinical beds was 110%. Although the public health network has been collapsed since the beginning of the month, ICU beds were not created in the state. The doctor Guilherme Pulici, who works in the Emergency Room of Rio Branco, said that the lack of doctors is one of the obstacles. “This is a historic problem in Acre, which has worsened with the pandemic. The teams are overloaded,” said the doctor, who also reported that there is a shortage of supplies, such as medicines and protective equipment. In Mato Grosso do Sul, although the state has reduced the overcrowding of hospitals, the ICU occupancy is around 99%, with 177 patients waiting for a vacancy. In Paraná, which opened 113 ICU vacancies in a week, the occupation continues at 92%, with 491 people waiting for bed. The capital, Curitiba, faces one of the worst scenarios, with all ICUs occupied. This situation led Curitiba to extend the lockdown until April 5. The first two weeks of lockdown brought results, according to the municipality’s Health Secretary, Márcia Huçulak. “A lot of people say that lockdown does not work, but we have had a reduction in the replication rate,” she said. The transmission rate of the virus dropped from 1.41 to 0.89. Porto Alegre already completes about a month with overcrowding of ICUs. The opening of 30 beds in the past few days was not enough and there are still ten patients with no vacancy. Even with the collapsed system, the mayor, Sebastião Melo (MDB), tried to reopen the shops, bars and restaurants on the weekends, but was prevented by the Justice, as he would not comply with the current state decree. Transfer In Porto Velho, where there have been no ICU vacancies for two months, patients continue to be transferred to other cities. This Tuesday (30th), 88 people were waiting in line across the state of Rondônia. Santa Catarina also continues with a critical scenario of hospitalizations, with 98% of the ICUs occupied, even with the creation of 74 vacancies in the last week. There are 363 people waiting for vacancies. In the capital, Florianópolis, there was only one ICU bed available this Tuesday. The creation of ten vacancies was also not enough in Goiânia. From 98% of occupancy in the previous week, the index reached 99% this week in the capital of Goiás, which has 300 intensive beds in the public network for patients with Covid-19. Same scenario in Pernambuco, which, even with new beds, continues with its collapsing health system. In one week, 128 vacancies were created, but the occupancy rate continued at 97%. And, even in the face of this situation, the state starts from this Thursday (1) the reopening of economic activities. Public and private schools will reopen in the face-to-face model next Monday (5). The state of São Paulo, for the first time since February, registered a small drop in the total of hospitalized patients with Covid’s suspicion or confirmation. The oscillation was timid, of 67 people. On Saturday (27), there were 12,983 hospitalized in ICUs, against 12,916 on Sunday. On the 29th, there was a new increase in relation to the previous day, but below the peak of Saturday. In São Paulo, of the total of 31,041 patients, 12,946 were in intensive care and 18,095 in wards. ICU occupancy rates reached 92.3% in the state and 92.6% in Greater São Paulo. “This drop in ICU admissions is pulled down by Greater São Paulo – 56.8% of the total number of ICU inmates in the state are concentrated in these regions, 3.8% in Baixada Santista and 39.4% in the interior”, he explains Wallace Casaca, coordinator of the SP Covid-19 Info Tracker platform, created by researchers from USP and Unesp with support from Fapesp to monitor the evolution of the pandemic. When comparing the 22nd and 29th of March, there is also an increase in the number of beds occupied in the ICUs. According to the State Department of Health, in the period, 662 ICU Covid-19 beds were created in the state, increasing from 13,241 to 14,030. In the city of Rio de Janeiro, ICU occupancy is also above 90% – this week, it reached 95%. The queue grows continuously: in the capital it jumped from 10 patients at the beginning of the month to 172 this Monday. In the state, there are about a thousand people, already with an average wait of more than 24 hours for transfer, registered this Tuesday. The Federal District faces one of the worst moments of the pandemic, with 390 people waiting for an ICU bed and 97.79% occupation this Tuesday. In all, there are 430 beds available by the Federal District government, of which only nine are vacant. Since the last week, a vacancy has been created and three field hospitals are expected. After three weeks of restrictive measures, part of the activities returned to function in the second. In the meantime, the curfew from 10 pm to 5 am continues. In Belo Horizonte, while the private network operates with 104.7% occupancy in the ICUs Covid, the public network occupies 96.8%, despite the expansion of beds. On the 24th, the government of Romeu Zema (Novo) announced that the purple wave, the most restrictive phase of the plan that guides the opening of activities, would be extended until Easter. According to data from the government last week, the incidence rate of Covid-19 increased in the state, which also leveraged hospitalizations. At the beginning of the week, the occupancy of the 2,899 public ICU beds reserved for Covid was 91.8%. On Monday morning, 820 patients with suspected or confirmed infection were awaiting admission to the ICU in the state and the occupancy rate was 91.8%. The previous Wednesday, it was 714. The numbers, according to the State Department of Health, are dynamic and may change.

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