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Marcela Leiros – from Cenarium

MANAUS – The mayor of Manaus, David Almeida (Avante), that, since when he was elected as chief executive of the capital insists on the ‘Kit Covid’, He said people should no longer listen to their religious or political leaders, but rather, the doctors and health experts. Evangelical and ally of Jair Bolsonaro (No party), David Almeida attributed to these leaders, during an interview on Friday, 22, the non-return of 280 thousand people to take the second dose of vaccines against Covid-19, in Manaus.

The statement was made on Saturday, 22, during an interview to the BandNews Manaus radio program, presented by journalists Samara Souza and Rafael Campos. David Almeida’s reference alludes to speeches by leaders that, according to him, can influence believers and voters. “When it comes to health, listen to your doctor. Forget your political leader or your religious leader. Take care of your health with your doctor, he is the specialist”, said the mayor.

The mayor of Manaus, David Almeida (Avante), in an interview to BandNews Manaus radio station (Reproduction/Youtube)

However, Almeida did not allude to the fact that he himself has followed a political bias in the management of the pandemic in the capital of Amazonas. In January this year, with only 13 days in office, David Almeida confirmed, in an interview with CNN Brazil, that guided professionals in Basic Health Units to prescribe drugs without proven effectiveness – such as Hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin and Azithromycin – in patients with suspected or confirmed with Covid-19. The practice followed guidelines from the President of the Republic himself, Jair Bolsonaro, and from the Ministry of Health (MS), under the coordination of Eduardo Pazuello at the time.

“We are offering the population of the city of Manaus the information they gave us that when the person feels the first symptoms, they should look for a Basic Health Unit so they can start treatment early”, he told CNN Brazil.

In the interview, David Almeida also cited Pazuello, one of the targets of Covid’s CPI, who, also in January, visited Manaus and, together with advisors, defended the use of Hidroxicloroquina. “The minister was in Manaus (…) and brought a health task force to bring us aid here in the city of Manaus, with the whole ministry team”.

The mayor also continued the defense of medications to prevent and combat Covid-19, without explaining the scientific origin, promising to distribute them. “We have the medications prescribed by doctors and this treatment is exactly so that the disease does not worsen. However, we have prophylactics and we will also be indicating the medical prescription in the next few days and doing the distribution”, he said.

Purchase of medicines

Manaus went through the second wave of the new coronavirus pandemic, between January and February, period in which the deaths by Covid-19 reached the number of 240 every 24 hours, according to data from the Health Surveillance Foundation (FVS/AM). With more than 7,000 infected, in the first two months of 2021, and 30% in hospitalized status, the pandemic overcrowded hospitals and 4,430 people died.

In this scenario, the mayor kept insisting on Ivermectin, the ‘apple of the eye’. Among the actions to combat the disease, he authorized the purchase, without bidding, for the Basic Health Units (UBSs), of the medicine whose leaflet indicates the treatment of worms, lice and similar.

Purchase of Ivermectin to ‘treat’ Covid-19 (Municipal Official Journal)

When he took office, the mayor of Manaus closed a deal – without consulting the population – with the secretariat of the then Health Minister, Eduardo Pazuello, to implement early treatment against Covid-19 in UBSs, making Manaus a ‘guinea pig’ for Brazil and the world. The information about the “pilot medical procedure”, in Manaus, was confirmed by the Amazonas’ former Health Secretary Marcellus Campêlo in testimony to the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission (CPI) of Covid, in the Senate, on June 15.

According to Marcellus, the process of early treatment in Manaus was coordinated by the secretary of Work Management and Health Education, of the Ministry of Health, Mayra Pinheiro, known as ‘Captain Chloroquine’. In the Parliamentary Inquiry Commission of Covid, Mayra exonerated herself of any guilt for the deaths in Manaus caused by the disease.

Manaus in The Hague

The case of the Covid kit in Manaus left the capital of Amazonas in negative focus. The subject was widely debated in the Covid’s CPI, in the Federal Senate, and even the former Minister of Justice and jurist, world-known, Miguel Reale Júnior, defends that the scientific experiments applied in Manaus should be taken to trial in the International Court of Justice as a “crime against humanity”.

Read also: Manaus’ ‘Covid Kit’ at the International Court: ‘crime against humanity’

Reale Júnior led a group of jurists who forwarded to the Covid’s CPI an opinion with more than 200 pages attributing to President Jair Bolsonaro seven crimes. In the document, they cite crimes against public health, such as charlatanism and infraction of sanitary and epidemic measures; against public administration, in this case, prevarication; incitement to crime for actions against public peace; and against humanity, as well as a crime of responsibility.

“Manaus was a pseudoscientific experiment (…) This is a crime against humanity because it was done at the tragic moment of the contamination’s vertiginous growth, of the virus dissemination, of the crowded hospitals, of the ICUs with no possibility of receiving anyone else, with a lack of oxygen”, pointed out the jurist.