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Brazil's Rio will restore 100 ICU beds to fight COVID-19 due to high utilization

19 Sep 2020 / 06:26 H.

    By Rodrigo Viga Gaier

    RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro will put back in place some 100 ICU beds that had been dismantled in recent weeks in an effort to deal with COVID-19 patients, even though deaths seemed to be falling.

    Currently, the utilization of ICU beds in Rio is around 85%, the city government said.

    Mayor Marcelo Crivella blamed citizens who have been "irresponsible" for the need to increase the city's hospital beds. Rio has made headlines lately for its crowded beaches on sunny weekends.

    "The state shut down some beds and we had private hospitals that also reduced their number of beds, and that led the city to face an overload," the mayor said. "The people are tired of the quarantine and we have seen that in the beaches and the bars, and that has been reflected ... in the curve, which is not falling as we'd like."

    More than 10,000 people have died in Rio, Brazil's second largest city.

    Rio currently faces the prospect of a second wave, after it loosened a lot of its restrictions at a time when deaths falsely appeared to be falling, when in reality they were stable and there had been a delay in the reporting of the data. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier; editing by Diane Craft)

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