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Brazil Governors Scour the Globe for Ventilators Amid Pandemic

  • Seized cargo, vanishing orders make governors try alternatives
  • Brazil’s government says it is sourcing ventilators locally
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Top Priority Is How to Ease Restrictions: Infectious Disease Specialist
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When his state on Brazil’s northern coast needed ventilators to handle a surge in coronavirus victims, Maranhao Governor Flavio Dino imported 190 units from China through an unusual route.

The cargo made a stop in Ethiopia before arriving in Sao Paulo, where it skipped customs and was flown straight to Sao Luis do Maranhao, the state’s capital. Dino had no time to spare -- his state is the poorest in Brazil, with a health care system ill-prepared to cope with the pandemic -- and he was running out of options. Previous purchases had fallen through while in transit through the U.S. and even in Brazil.