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Iury Lima – from Cenarium Magazine

PORTO VELHO – The Porto Velho City Hall made, only in 2020, at least two millionaire purchases of azithromycin and ivermectin, medicines that are part of the “Kit Covid”, with the objective of “supplying the Municipal Health Department (Semusa) in the pandemic confrontation”. The purchase of a total of 726 thousand pills cost R$ 4,832,200.00, an amount that was spent between July and October, according to the data, public notice of electronic auctions and other attachments of the Transparency Portal.

This, however, was not the only way to facilitate the distribution of drugs without scientific proof against Covid-19 to the city’s population, since the government of Rondônia, also in the first year of the pandemic, proudly boasted of having carried out the delivery of the same drugs for the 52 cities, recommending the use of the drugs in all health units, including reference hospitals, hospitalization, and treatment for those infected by the virus.

Contradictory Discourse

In an interview to CENARIUM MAGAZINE, the mayor of Porto Velho, Hildon Chaves (PSDB), denied that the municipality has admitted the prescription of the drugs from the “Covid Kit”, “precisely because there is no scientific evidence”, but blamed doctors for the fact, as did Semusa. “We know that there has been, all over Brazil, encouragement about the use of these drugs. But, in Porto Velho, there was no determination for the medication to be adopted, leaving the prescription under the decision of each health professional”, he said.

About the acquisition of the medicines, the mayor claimed that the stocks are kept only to treat those patients whose treatment for other diseases already required such application, even before the pandemic, and that the city hall follows obeying the recommendation of the Ministry of Health (MS) to restrict the emergency purchase of the medicines of the “Kit Covid” to fight the disease.

Even admitting that the kits were distributed, Chaves presented a speech totally opposite to the blind eye that occurs regarding the freedom to prescribe early treatment granted to health professionals working in UBSs.

“A health emergency situation, such as the one brought on by the new coronavirus pandemic, must be treated in accordance with scientific findings, not based on individual beliefs. Denying the danger of the disease, or wanting to believe in a treatment whose effectiveness has no proof, confuses the population and hinders the immunization process”, he said.

“Brazil has always been a world reference in vaccination and today, unfortunately, a part of the population has become afraid to take the vaccine against Covid-19, even knowing that the disease has already killed more than half a million Brazilians”, continued the mayor.

“In Porto Velho, there was no determination that the medication should be adopted, the prescription being left to the decision of each health professional”, Hildon Chaves, mayor of Porto Velho.

In the same tone as Hildon Chaves, Semusa also reinforced that it did not determine that professionals prescribe the “Covid Kit”, “neither to those tested positive nor to asymptomatic”. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, there was a very big appeal regarding early treatment for Covid-19 cases, but it is an off label treatment, it has no proof”, the department replied to the report. “During the pandemic, there was authorization for the acquisition of a larger quantity of both azithromycin and ivermectin, the latter still funded by the Ministry of Health”, it added.

Irresponsible incentives

In May 2020, the government of Rondônia created the flow of chloroquine distribution through the Health Regions, in strategic cities to enable the massive distribution to other cities. A movement that the State Department of Health (Sesau) started to intensify the following month, also making azithromycin available for the treatment of serious Covid-19 hospitalized patients.

The department also delivered kits for the early treatment of mild or moderate cases, even in mass testing actions, in the drive-thru system. The cocktails left the hands of governor Marcos Rocha (no party) and the state health secretary, Fernando Máximo, in these actions, straight to the population’s access.

Fernando Máximo, for example, was even diagnosed with drug hepatitis, in August 2020, which the government considered as “complications from Covid-19” and not as a problem caused by the “treatment” against the disease, after the secretary stayed in Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

In Vilhena, in the interior of the state, Mayor Eduardo Tsuru (PV), known to all as Eduardo Japonês, announced, through social networks, on June 30 of last year, the creation of the municipal protocol for the delivery of medicines to treat people with suspected or confirmed for the new coronavirus. The decision was not by chance. Japonês was dazzled after recovering from Covid-19 using the unproven set of remedies.

Until today, one only needs to arrive at a Basic Health Unit in Vilhena to get at least one of the items from the “Covid Kit”, even without an examination result. It is only necessary to present symptoms caused by the new coronavirus, as revealed by a source that went through the public health system and received ivermectin to fight fever, shortness of breath, headache and diarrhea. The source preferred not to be identified.

Searched by CENARIUM MAGAZINE, the government of Rondônia and the city hall of Vilhena did not comment on the distribution of the “Covid Kit” in the city.