Covid-19: investigation into a Brazilian minister after the chaos in the Amazon

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge on Monday authorized the opening of an investigation to determine the possible responsibility of the Minister of Health Eduardo Pazuello in the collapse of the health system in Manaus, in the Amazon, during the second wave of the pandemic coronavirus.

Judge Ricardo Lewandowski has ordered Mr Pazuello to be questioned in the coming days and has set a two-month deadline to conclude the investigations, the institution said.

Attorney General Augusto Aras has called for an investigation into the alleged “negligent attitude” in the face of the crisis, which has resulted in the deaths of around 100 people from asphyxiation due to oxygen shortages in overwhelmed hospitals. influx of Covid-19 patients.

The Ministry of Health has admitted to having been alerted to the “imminent lack of oxygen” by the supplier on January 8.

Burial of a Covid-19 victim in Manaus, Brazil, January 22, 2021 (AFP / Archives – MARCIO JAMES)

By Christmas, the minister was already aware of the increase in Covid-19 infections in Manaus, but he sent ministry officials only a week later, added the prosecutor, who also claims that there were delays in starting the transfer of patients to other states.

Mr. Pazuello “had the legal obligation and the possibility to act to mitigate” the impacts of the crisis, and the possible delay “may characterize an omission liable to engage civil, administrative and / or criminal liability”, declared Mr. Aras.

Pazuello, a 58-year-old general, is President Jair Bolsonaro’s third health minister. The far-right leader is strongly criticized for his handling of the pandemic, which has already claimed more than 217,000 lives in Brazil.

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