On Thursday, January 7, Brazil reached the sad and shocking milestone of 200,000 people killed by Covid-19. Conectas deeply regrets each life lost and sympathizes with the families.
This tragedy could and should have been avoided if the proper prevention measures recommended by international health authorities had been taken quickly by the public authorities. It is alarming and outrageous that a health crisis of this magnitude was handled with contempt and irresponsibility by the same political forces that should be focused on protecting and saving lives.
We strongly condemn how the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic has been overseen by the federal government. Health is a human right and it is the duty of the State to guarantee this service to everyone seriously and responsibly.
It is inadmissible to encourage people to assemble and stop using masks and protection equipment, especially when we are witnessing a new and troubling rise in cases of the disease and the depletion of public and private hospital beds. The position of President Jair Bolsonaro has been simply unacceptable in this regard.
While many countries around the world have already started their immunization programs against Covid-19, the federal government has still not presented a detailed plan with dates, it has raised doubts about the safety of the vaccines and discouraged mandatory vaccination. The authorities urgently need to present a national universal and free immunization plan containing details and dates, and that prioritizes the groups that are most susceptible to the disease.
Finally, the authorities should spare no effort to make available to the Brazilian population all the vaccines on the market that have been proven to be safe, and to ensure the supplies and distribution infrastructure necessary with the urgency and scale to save lives and return to normality.