With a moving average of 97 deaths, Brazil today ends the year 2021 still suffering from instability in the pandemic data, mainly due to the impact of the data blackout that happened at the beginning of December.
More than 85 Brazilians lost their lives to covid-19 in the last 24 hours, according to data from the consortium of press vehicles, of which the UOL is part.
The total number of deaths caused by the disease in the country is 619,109. So far, more than 22.2 million Brazilians have already received a positive diagnosis for covid-19.
Today’s numbers do not include the states of Roraima and Tocantins. Acre did not record deaths.
In a statement, the Department of Health of Roraima stressed that the data remains unstable due to the blackout and that today, tomorrow and Sunday (2) the state will not publish a bulletin with data from the pandemic. On Monday (3), the folder promises to release an updated balance.
For more than 20 days, data blackouts caused by hacker attacks on the Ministry of Health’s websites and platforms have persisted. Because of him, since December 10, there are failures in the dissemination of data related to the disease.
The lack of accurate data makes it difficult to analyze the covid-19 scenarios in the country. According to the Ministry of Health, e-SUS Notifica, a platform that gathers information on cases and deaths as a result of covid-19, was re-established on the 21st. Still, some states say they are facing problems.
The Minister of Health, Marcelo Queiroga, said today that he expected the data to return to normal until the first half of January. He defined the situation as a “daily struggle”.
The average number of deaths per day is calculated from the last seven days. This is the best way to analyze the evolution of the pandemic, as death records tend to show artificial drops on weekends and holiday periods.
See the situation by state and in the Federal District
The comparison is made against the situation two weeks earlier. A fall is considered when the reduction is equal to or greater than 15%; high when the increase is equal to or greater than 15%.
However, due to covid data blackout, the variation does not necessarily mirror what has been happening in each state.
- Espírito Santo: fall (-25%)
- Minas Gerais: fall (-57%)
- Rio de Janeiro: fall (-17.7%)
- Amazons: stability (13%)
- Roraima: did not release data today
- Tocantins: did not release data today
- Maranhão: stability (0%)
- Paraíba: stability (0%)
- Pernambuco: stability (4%)
- Rio Grande do Norte: fall (-53%)
- Federal District: remains (-50%)
- Goiás: stability (0%)
- Mato Grosso do Sul: stability (0%)
- Rio Grande do Sul: fall (-57%)
- Santa Catarina: stability (2%)
Brazil does not know if omicron advances in the country
Science has already indicated in recent studies that the omicron variant of covid-19 should be more transmissible — that is, it infects other people more easily — than other strains. In recent days, amidst the holiday season, the variant caused a surge in new cases in the US and the UK.
But, here in Brazil, it is not possible to know if the variant has caused a jump in infections, nor can it be possible to draw a reliable scenario of the virus’ behavior in the country. With systems down and data out of date, the mapping of the disease that killed more than 600 thousand people in Brazil is outdated.
Instability in the Ministry of Health’s systems is not a new problem and has not yet been properly corrected. In September, UOL reported this underreporting while the federal government’s portfolio claimed changes in the system to “better respond to surveillance actions”.
Vehicles unite for information
In response to the Jair Bolsonaro government’s decision to restrict access to data on the covid-19 pandemic, the media UOL, O Estado de S. Paulo, Folha de S.Paulo, O Globo, g1 and Extra formed a consortium to work collaboratively to seek the necessary information directly from the state health secretariats of the 27 units of the Federation.
The federal government, through the Ministry of Health, should be the natural source of these numbers, but the attitudes of authorities and the president himself during the pandemic cast doubt on the availability of the data and its accuracy.