Brazil's Supreme Federal Court (TSF) Tuesday allowed an investigation against Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello over the COVID-19 crisis unleashed in Manaus city, Amazon state, last week.
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TSF Judge Ricardo Lewandowski passed the investigation two days after Brazil's Attorney General Augusto Aras requested to inquire into the facts that led to the health system collapse in Manaus.
Pazuello, who was also criticized for sending 120,000 units of hydroxychloroquine to the city as treatment, assured the Health Ministry was aware of the imminent lack of oxygen in the Amazonian City.
"On January 8, we sent a shipment with oxygen to Manaus," the Minister informed. However, the Attorney General's Office highlighted that a new shipment was not organized until January 12, four days later.
On January 6, local authorities urged the evacuation of patients from Manaus to other cities. Hospitals in neighboring states had 345 beds available to receive them. However, the first transfers took place on Jan. 15 when only 32 people were relocated.
"The Minister had the duty to mitigate the situation that arose in Manaus. The Prosecutor's Office requires further investigations to clarify its responsibility in the events," Aras concluded.
The TSF referred Pazuello's file to the Federal Police, which will be in charge of the secret investigation. The deadline for its conclusions is 60 days.