Due to the recent rapid transmission of the novel coronavirus in Brazil, the inpatient beds of public and private hospitals in Rio de Janeiro were saturated on December 2.
According to the data released by the health department of the state of Rio on the 2nd local time, on October 19 this year, the average number of people waiting for COVID-19 in a single bed in public hospitals was 45, and on December 2 this figure reached 456, of which 242 people had to wait in line for an intensive care (ICU) bed. Meanwhile, the state’s private hospitals have reached 100% ICU occupancy.
In response to the recent sharp increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19, public hospitals in Rio State will suspend examinations and elective surgery for other types of patients from now on to provide more beds for patients with COVID-19.
Health experts from the Federal University of Rio also sent a joint emergency letter to the state government on December 1, asking the government to close the beach; increase public transportation capacity and reduce the number of passengers on public transportation; and effectively inspect open commercial places, bars, restaurants, etc.
In this list of requirements, health experts also asked the government to immediately open new wards and ICU beds; urgently hire additional health professionals; suspend all kinds of face-to-face social activities; and consider the possibility of re-implementing quarantine and blockade measures.
On the afternoon of December 2, the government of Rio State announced the first three hospitals that could be tested for COVID-19. Acting Governor of Rio State, Claudio Castro, announced the previous day that the state will start mass testing for COVID-19 in five areas, including Rio and San Gomcaro, from the 3rd.