Moderate, technical and organized. Thus defined by colleagues the new commander of the Express, general Paulo Srgio. He was military commander of the North and has a specialty in the Amazon area, both in logistics and in border security and health.
Respected in the military, Paulo Srgio it was, until now, in front of the COVID-19 pandemic combat actions within the terrestrial force.
The difficult mission to face the greatest public health challenge of the century was given to the general in March last year, when the Brazil recorded the first cases of the disease, which was already spreading in Europe and challenging China.
An interview with the Braziliense Mail, published last Sunday (3/28), was the fuse for the crisis between the government and the military.
Paulo Srgio highlighted the actions of combat disease, adopting totally opposite measures to those put into practice by the federal government.
Under the general’s direction, the Army’s General Personnel Department (GDP) established campaigns Massive use of masks, distance, isolation, mass testing and hand hygiene.
The result was a death rate of 0.13% in the force. In the general population, mortality is 2.5%. In military hospitals, the drugs used are based on recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa).
In the opposite direction, the Ministry of Health even adopted a protocol endorsing the use of drugs without proven scientific evidence against the disease, such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
Under the management of Paulo Srgio, these drugs can only be used in consensus between doctor and patient, and the patient must sign a term of responsibility recognizing the risks of using drugs without efficacy against the disease.
The choice of the officer to command a contingent of 220,000 military personnel represents a retreat from President Jair Bolsonaro and greater influence by the Armed Forces in the government.
The Chief Executive decided to dismiss then Minister Fernando Azevedo after reading the interview and showing discontent with the statements. Then the commanders of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force were dismissed.
Forecasting and testing
In the interview published by mail, General Paulo Srgio highlighted the sanitary measures adopted in the force and the success in the midst of an unprecedented crisis.
“The numbers are relatively good in relation to the general population due to the prevention we have. The lethality rate is very low, lower than in the public network, thanks to this awareness, this understanding, which is what I think, if it improved in the Brazil, probably, the number of contaminated would be much smaller “, said Paulo Srgio.
He explained that the measures are necessary to contain the transmission, as the health system does not have the capacity to serve the population, whether military or civilian, if they all get sick at the same time.
“We started the covid operation with 84 ICU beds in the entire network. As a result of purchased equipment and transformation of the hospital structure, we reached 280 ICU beds in the entire military network. There are hospitals in the public network of So Paulo, of those big ones, which have 280 beds. So, a very restricted network, which barely serves its own strength. We even have agreements with the private network, which we call civilian health organizations “, he added.
Paulo Srgio also explained that the country is in a serious situation, and pointed out that the Army can act in adopting sanitary measures, such as the closing of roads to prevent the circulation of people.
“We have very qualified military organizations, in the chemical, biological defense area. We trained more than 5,000 military personnel in Brazil in the decontamination part. Today, all of our quartiles have a peloton, of 30 men, for example, trained. It is very common to image of that group of hooded soldiers, in airports, ports, public squares. In Belm, I set up the bus stop patrol, with a protected team, appropriate equipment, and go out on the avenue at night to disinfect, “he said.
Finally, the general said that the second wave of the pandemic is bringing greater challenges, greater impact and casualties, but that there is already concern about a third wave of the disease.
“When we learned that France and Germany are starting a new lockdown with this third wave, we imagine that, as it happened in the second, which starts in Europe, two months later it spreads to other continents. We have to be prepared in Brazil. We cannot lose heart. , improve the physical structure of our hospitals, have more beds, human resources so that, if there is a stronger wave, we will have the capacity to react “, he added.
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