Still under the effects of the blackout of official data, the moving average of notified cases of covid-19 rose 111% in Brazil in two weeks, according to information gathered until Thursday, 30, by the consortium of press vehicles. The index went from 3.5 thousand to 7.4 thousand, reaching a level similar to that of the beginning of the month. Although the indicator remains well below the peak of the pandemic, when it stabilized above 30 thousand, experts consulted by the state highlight that the increase may represent a worsening in the scenario.
In part, it is possible that the variation occurs because the Ministry of Health’s systems have been unstable since early December, resulting in damming of data. Even so, experts reinforce that the increase in hospitalizations for covid in some states and the percentages of positive tests in laboratories corroborate the analyzes that the change in the average of cases is not something isolated. The main cause, they explain, may be the advance in the country of the Ômicron variant, considered more contagious.
“It is increasing (on demand by) tests, increasing positivity, increasing symptoms, increasing suspicion, increasing hospitalization”, warns Marcio Bittencourt, an epidemiologist at the Clinical and Epidemiological Research Center of the University Hospital of USP. According to him, it is even possible that Ômicron already corresponds to the “most part” of the cases reported in Brazil.The low genetic sequencing, however, added to the blackout of data from Health, makes it difficult to accurately understand the current scenario.
Although the moving average of covid cases in the country jumped 111% compared to two weeks ago, the number of deaths dropped 12% in the same period. In addition to the effects of vaccination, which prevent the disease from progressing to serious conditions, Bittencourt believes that this is related to the fact that infections began to rise about two weeks ago. “There is still no time to see the effect on deaths”, says the epidemiologist.
The indication for now is to maintain protective actions, such as distancing and wearing masks. “We’re at a time of a lot of uncertainty, so it’s important to reduce the risks we expose ourselves to,” says Isaac Schrarstzhaupt, data scientist and coordinator of the Covid-19 Analysis Network. He reinforces that continuing to adopt non-pharmacological measures is important even to contain the flu outbreaks.