Two hospital boats sent to the remote communities of the Amazon region in Brazil to treat COVID-19 patients have suspended operations after their entire staff tested positive for the coronavirus on February 11.
Operated by “Associação e Fraternidade São Francisco de Assis na Providência de Deus,” a Franciscan-inspired institute which manages 74 healthcare institutions in Brazil, the boats, named Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II originally provided all sorts of medical care to riverside communities, but began to focus on COVID-19 since the beginning of 2021.
The epicenter of a second wave of the pandemic in Brazil, the Amazon region has seen a surge of new cases over the past few months, and the local healthcare system has virtually collapsed. A new strain of the virus identified in the city of Manaus, in Amazonas State, is thought to be causing the outbreak.
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