Brazil has no 'effective response' to COVID: MSF

"Because more than one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, the failed response in Brazil has caused a humanitarian catastrophe."

These are damning words of Christos Christou, president of Medicins Sans Frontieres -- also known as the NGO Doctors Without Borders.

As Brazil remains the second worst hit country in the world in terms of deaths, following only the United States, MSF says the government is to blame for thousands of avoidable deaths.

"This disease needs to be taken seriously by the authorities. This is what they said to me. People are desperate. They are mourning, and they need help. There is no national and centrally coordinated efficient response to this pandemic. Prevention measures which we have seen working in another context, like limiting non-essential movement or activities or wearing masks and promoting physical distance, and the increase of hygiene measures, are not implement at this moment in Brazil. // Health workers are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted."

Although the U.S. has more COVID dead overall, Brazil is now leading in daily fatalities.

Hospitals say they are running short of crucial drugs for patients and most Brazilian states report near full capacity in their intensive care units.

Christou warns that the situation is expected to become even worse in the weeks ahead.

President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to oppose lockdown, saying Brazilians need to get on with normal life, and job losses are more dangerous than the virus.

Video Transcript

CHRISTOS CHRISTOU: Because more than a year into this COVID pandemic, the failed response in Brazil has caused a humanitarian catastrophe.

- These are damning words of Christos Christou, president of Medicins San Frontieres-- also known as the NGO Doctors Without Borders. As Brazil remains the second worst hit country in the world in terms of deaths, following only the United States, MSF says the government is to blame for thousands of avoidable deaths.

CHRISTOS CHRISTOU: This disease needs to be taken seriously by the authorities, is what they say to me. People are desperate. They are mourning, and they need help.

There is no national and centrally coordinated efficient response to this pandemic. Prevention measures, which we have seen working in other contexts, like limiting non-essential movements and activities, or wearing masks and promoting physical distancing, and increased hygiene measures are not implemented at this moment in Brazil. Health workers are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted.

- [SPEAKING PORTUGUESE]

- Although the US has more COVID death overall, Brazil is now leading in daily fatalities. Hospitals say they are running short of crucial drugs for patients. And most Brazilian states report near full capacity in their intensive care units. Christo warns that the situation is expected to become even worse in the weeks ahead.

- [SPEAKING PORTUGUESE]

President Jair Bolsonaro has continued to oppose lock down, saying Brazilians need to get on with normal life, and job losses are more dangerous than the virus.