AMERICA/BRAZIL - REPAM: alarming increase in the number of infections and deaths due to Covid-19 in the pan-Amazon region

Friday, 19 February 2021 coronavirus   human rights   poverty   amazon   local churches  


Manaus (Agenzia Fides) - "Message of solidarity to the Amazonian peoples": it is under this title the Pan-Amazonian Ecclesial Network (REPAM) has launched an appeal for help in the face of the catastrophic situation that the peoples of the Amazon have been experiencing in recent weeks. The message, published yesterday, February 18, reads: "In recent months, an alarming increase in the number of infections and deaths caused by Covid-19 has been observed throughout the Pan-Amazon region". This is a consequence, according to the message, of the "shortcomings of the health system", due to the "lack of beds in hospitals, oxygen and protective equipment", the effect of poverty and social inequalities.
The situation in Manaus and in the Brazilian state of Amazonas, where nearly 5,000 people officially died this year, are the grounds for denouncing "the absence of effective public health policies". The message includes a mapping that REPAM has been carrying out since March 17, 2020, which in its latest weekly report reached 2,025,223 confirmed cases and 50,364 coronavirus deaths across the Pan-Amazon region, a situation that has drastically worsened in the past two months.
As reported by Fides (see Fides 21/01/2021), the Catholic Church is the main protagonist in the distribution of aid and in terms of prevention actions in favor of the weakest and communities neglected by the governments within the Amazon area.
REPAM's message recognizes "the effort and dedication of the Catholic Church present in the Amazon in the field of emergency humanitarian aid actions aimed at helping to alleviate the effects of the second wave of the pandemic". Pope Francis participates with "his prayer, solidarity and closeness" in addition to the many people "who offer their work and financial resources to take care of others".
REPAM highlights the joint work with the Coordinator of the Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), to which they joined "in the realization of the 'El Grito de la Selva - Voces de la Amazonia campaign, which will be launched in the coming days, in order to strengthen the struggle of indigenous peoples for the right to global health". This is why they ask governments to "spare no efforts to acquire vaccines intended for the Amazon region" responding to the request of Pope Francis. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 19/2/2021)