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Subdued Brazil New Year celebrations met with silence in COVID-19 ward

Subdued Brazil New Year celebrations met with silence in COVID-19 ward

LEONARDO BENASSATTO BRAZILIANS saw in 2021 with fireworks under unusual social distancing measures, while in a hospital intensive care ward outside Sao Paulo, doctors tending COVID-19 patients held one minute of silence for the passing of a deadly year. Medical staff stood at the foot of beds with people hooked up to ventilators, and then went around wishing their patients a happy New Year through face shields and masks. The sound of fireworks in the streets outside broke the monotony of whirring ventilators and beeping monitors. There was little to celebrate with 195,000 Brazilians losing their lives in the world's…
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South African health workers stretched as COVID-19 infections near 1 million

South African health workers stretched as COVID-19 infections near 1 million

SHAFIEK TASSIEM and WENDELL ROELF MATRON Annamarie Odendaal has cancelled all staff holiday on the COVID-19 ward at the private Arwyp Medical Centre in Johannesburg as a second wave of the coronavirus threatens to overwhelm South Africa's health system. "I called them back because we are in a peak period now, so it's not easy for the staff because they also want to go back to their family members," she told Reuters on the ward on Christmas Day. "Sometimes they are tired but they never say 'I can't come to work'. The patient is really always first for them." A…
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In South African COVID-19 ward, medics battle worst infection wave yet

In South African COVID-19 ward, medics battle worst infection wave yet

SISIPHO SKWEYIYA AT an emergency COVID-19 ward run by a charity in southern Johannesburg, medics wheel gasping patients to their beds, rush from room to room with oxygen cylinders and pat the back of someone in the grip of a coughing fit. The scenes in the converted community hall are a reminder of how badly South Africa has been hit by its third and most debilitating COVID-19 wave yet, as the infectious Delta variant surges through a mostly unvaccinated population. "The Delta variant has caused enormous strain on the resources ... Every hospital is getting strained, every healthcare worker is…
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