Brazil has COVID-19 case tally reaches 4,745,464

The daily report by Brazil’s Ministry of Health, published Monday (Sep. 28) reveals that the country’s confirmed cases of COVID-19 have totaled 4,745,464 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Of these, three percent resulted in death (142,058), 10.9 percent of patients are being treated (519,224), and 86.1 percent of Brazilians who caught COVID-19 have recovered (4,084,182).

From Sunday to Monday, 317 deaths were reported, along with 13,155 new cases. Health authorities also investigate whether 2,533 were caused by the novel coronavirus.

The highest number of cases and deaths was reported in São Paulo (973,142, 35,125), the country’s most populous state.

Brazil joins UNDP program about COVID-19 impact on urban mobility

A project developed by professors at the Alberto Luiz Coimbra Post-Graduate and Research Institute of Rio de Janeiro (Coppe/UFRJ) and the Federal Center of Technological Education of Minas Gerais (Cefet-MG) was selected by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to take part in a program dubbed Exploring the Impact of COVID-19 and the Political Response in Latin America and the Caribbean through Mobility Data.

Since COVID-19 reached Brazil, the Coppe/UFRJ program has been willing to help the government of Rio de Janeiro in its efforts and has conducted studies on the link between the disease and mobility, said Program Coordinator Professor Romulo Orrico. A study was also carried out on the influence of urbanism and public transport on COVID-19 and the characteristics of US cities Los Angeles and New York, even though these locations have made similar decisions to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Orrico reported that, in a partnership with San Francisco–based company Grandata, UNDP obtained the data on the mobility of eight to ten countries in Latin America, with a tender offer for researchers willing to use the data to learn more about how to tackle the disease.

Urban mobility

The initiative by Coppe and Cefet-MG, dubbed Measuring the Efficiency of the COVID-19 Social Isolation Policy through Transport Demand Models, coordinated by Professor Romulo Orrico, will use not only data on mobility to be available on a platform created by UNDP and Grandata, but also georeferenced data available in Brazil. The platform aims to facilitate the assessment of people’s movements out of their homes during the pandemic of the novel coronavirus. “We have to really understand the data,” Orrico declared.

The platform includes a tool that gauges how much users have moved around in a day compared to the day before or after, allowing specialists to ascertain to what degree people have adhered to social isolation in a given location—a city, municipality, or country—press advisers with Coppe-UFRJ reported.

Approximately ten institutions are taking part in the UNDP program, one in each country, the professor said. The mission faces a number of challenges, he added, since Brazil has over 5 thousand municipalities, with a high variety of behavior prompted by the pandemic. Deadlines for a preliminary version of the study have been set for November, and institutions must present a final report on results by mid-December.

UNDP’s goal, Professor Orrico explained, is to better understand the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic on countries, helping decision makers plan out a political response in the region encompassing Latin America and the Caribbean.

Brazil reports 14,3180 cases of COVID-19 in 24 hours

Brazil has confirmed another 14,318 people infected with the novel coronavirus in 24 hours. In the latest report, released Sunday (Sep. 27), the country’s Ministry of Health also adds 335 deaths to the total COVID-19 death toll. The disease has claimed 141,747 lives.

Since February, when the first case was confirmed in the country, 4,732,309 people have been diagnosed with the virus. The number of recovered patients stands at 4,060,088—nearly 86 percent of all infected patients. Another 530,480 are still being monitored.

State health authorities are also investigating 2,511 suspected deaths linked to COVID-19.

Also according to the ministry, the lethality rate of the disease compared to the general population is three percent. In other words, of every hundred people with the disease, three die due to the complications stemming from COVID-19.

A number of factors may play a role in whether a patient’s health state may aggravate and lead to death. Elders with high blood pressure, heart and lung disease, cancer, or diabetes are more susceptible, and should redouble prevention efforts.

São Paulo

The country’s most populous state, São Paulo, reported 231 deaths from COVID-19 in 24 hours, raising the death count to 35,108, plus 972,237 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Of the diagnosed, 831,468 people have recovered, 106,621 have been hospitalized.

The bed occupancy rate in intensive care units is 44.4 percent in the Great São Paulo and 45.6 percent statewide. Patients currently hospitalized are 9,062—5,089 of whom in first-aid rooms, 3,973 in intensive care units. All 645 municipalities have at least one infected person, with 567 cities having notified one or more fatal cases.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro state, the second in both cases and deaths, has seen 261,860 cases of COVID-19 and 18,278 deaths from the disease. There are also 514 deaths under investigation. Of all confirmed cases, 238,609 patients have recovered from the illness.

Brazilian biome areas reduced by 8.34% 2000–2018

Between 2000 and 2018, all Brazilian biomes—the Amazon, the Caatinga, the Cerrado, the Pantanal, the Atlantic Forest, and the Pampas—reported losses in natural areas. Combined, these reductions represent 489,877 km²—or 8.34 percent of the territory of these biomes.

The subtraction, however, was decreasing over the years, as per the inaugural issue of Ecosystems’ Accounts: Extension by Biome (2002–2018), published Thursday (Sep. 24) by the government’s statistics agency IBGE. It shows general figures on the conservation of Brazil’s land ecosystems.

The most significant slowdown, the document reports, was seen in the Atlantic Forest, which went from a loss of 8,793 km² 2000–2010 to -577 km² 2016–2018. Still, the Atlantic Forest, where occupation is older and more intense, conserves a mere 16.6 percent of its natural areas—the lowest percentage among the biomes.

Mata Atlântica

The Atlantic Forest, where occupation is older and more intense, conserves a mere 16.6 percent of its natural areas – Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil

The Amazon and the Cerrado concentrate the highest absolute values for the reduction in natural areas. The largest loss was reported in the Amazon (269.8 thousand km²), followed by the Cerrado (152.7 thousand km²). In proportional terms, the biggest loss was reported in the Pampas, where 16.8 percent of the natural area was put to anthropic uses—when human beings perform social, economic, or cultural activities upon the environment.

The smallest slash in natural areas, both in absolute (2m109 km²) and percentage terms (1.6 percent) was in the Pantanal.

The survey also indicate that, from 2000 through 2018, the Amazon was deprived of nearly eight percent of its forest coverage, which was chiefly replaced with special pasture areas which went from 248.8 thousand km² in 2000 to 426.4 thousand km² of the Amazon in 2018.

Transformations

Maria Luíza da Fonseca, researcher at IBGE’s Board for Geosciences, reported that the Pampas and the Pantanal displayed their change intensity indicator with proportions dramatically superior to the others countrywide. “In the Pantanal, we have 75.3 percent of the changes made, including intense alterations—which have indicator three, the highest. The same happens to the Pampas, with around 60 percent of rather intense alterations. Indicator three here points at a use conversion that went from natural directly to intense anthropic,” she stated. In the Pampas, she explained, natural was superseded by agricultural use, and, in the Pantanal, by special pasture.

Arvoré Pantanal Matogrossense

Pantanal – Mayke Toscano/Secom-MT

The Atlantic Forest (7.96) and the Caatinga (7.44%) underwent the smallest transformations of the Brazilian space and the largest declines in the suppression of natural areas. “Within the national landscape, we can see that both the Atlantic Forest and the Caatinga were the ones that, in the last biennium surveyed (2016–2018), had the sharpest plunge. They show, over the course of all of this time series (2000–2018) the biggest slowdown in these losses.” The researcher explained that these natural areas include forest and field vegetation, wet and uncovered lands, considered native vegetation, with no interference by man.

“The loss of natural areas occurs in different ways. Neither this study nor the monitoring deals with the causes of such phenomena. In other words, whether it’s man’s doing or phenomena caused by nature itself. IBGE research studies still do not bring an in-depth list of causes,” she declared.

Gov’t allows foreigners to enter all Brazil airports

The federal government has authorized the entry of foreigners of any nationality in all airports across Brazil. The decision was brought into effect Thursday (Sep. 24) and extends the restriction on foreigners coming in “by road or other terrestrial means, or by water.”

In July, the government had partly allowed foreigners to come to the country by air, retaining the restriction on the airports of the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraíba, Rondônia, Rio Grande do Sul, and Tocantins. Last month, the restriction affected the airports of the states of Goiás. Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins.

Since international flights and the entry of foreigners by other means were restricted in March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has reassessed measures on a monthly basis.

The entry of foreigners through land is allowed provided that the migratory requirements suiting their conditions are observed, including that of showing an entry visa when required. Those coming to Brazil for short-duration trips (up to 90 days) may show the air carrier an insurance document valid in Brazil, before boarding, for health care costs.

The joint decision—signed by the office of the president’s chief of staff as well as the Ministries of Health, Infrastructure, Justice, and Security—exceptionally authorizes foreigners in a country that shares land borders with Brazil who need to cross them before taking a flight back to their country of residence to request to do so with the Federal Police and proceed straight to the airport. To do that, they must produce an official demand from the embassy or council of the country in question, plus the corresponding air tickets.

COVID-19: Brazil has seen 139,000 deaths, 4.65 mi cases

The number of people who became infected with the novel coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic went up to 4,657,702. In 24 hours, 32,817 new positive diagnoses for COVID-19 were made. The number of recovered patients stands at 4,023,789—86.4 percent of the total of people infected with the new coronavirus. There are also 494,105 patients being monitored.

The figures can be found in the daily report released by the Health Ministry Thursday (Sep. 24) with information sent in by health state secretariats.

The accumulated number of deaths due to the pandemic has reached 139,808, after 831 new deaths were added from Wednesday to Thursday, keeping the average below the daily thousand from the previous weeks. Health authorities are investigated whether 2,422 deaths took place in connection with COVID-19.

São Paulo

The state of São Paulo stands atop the COVID-19 statistics. Confirmed cases are said to total 958,240, with 34,677 deaths. From Wednesday to Thursday, deaths added up to 185 and new cases to 6,267.

Of those diagnosed with the disease in the state, 821,045 have recovered. There are also 9,310 patients hospitalized, 4,017 of whom in a serious state. The bed occupancy rate in intensive care units in São Paulo is 46.7 percent in the state and 45.8 percent in the Great São Paulo area.

Other states

Rio de Janeiro is the second state with the highest death toll from COVID-19: 18,037. Second comes Ceará (8,882), Pernambuco (8,110), and Minas Gerais (6,983). The ones with the least fatal cases are Roraima (635), Acre (653), Amapá (698), Tocantins (901), and Mato Grosso do Sul (1,217).

Bolsonaro undergoes surgery to remove bladder stones

President Jair Bolsonaro was admitted yesterday (Sep. 25) at São Paulo’s Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, to have badder stones removed.

According to the medical report forwarded by the president special communication secretariat, the surgical procedure is minimally invasive, and “referred to as laser endoscopic cystolithotripsy with anesthesia.”

The report was signed by cardiologist Leandro Echenique, urologist Leonardo Lima Borges, and Miguel Cendoroglo, the hospital’s superintendent director.

Bolsonaro was diagnosed with calculi late in August, after he was submitted to an ultrasound at the medical department of the Planalto presidential palace.

Volkswagen inks deal to compensate for violations in military regime

Volkswagen agreed to commit to earmarking $6.5 million to former workers and initiatives promoting human rights. The measure, which aims to compensate for facts that tookk place during the military dictatorship period (1964–1985) had the participation of the Prosecution Service of São Paulo State, and the Labor Prosecution Service.

A Conduct Adjustment Term was signed—an extrajudicial deal stipulating the duties the company must fulfill in order not to have further motions imposed. Thus, three civil inquiries open since 2015 on the matter are brought to a close.

Of the total amount, $3 million will be donated to the Henrich Plagge Association, which brings together Volkswagen workers, so that it may be distributed among former employees. Another $1.88 million will be put towards projects rescuing the memory of the period. To the Memorial for the Fight for Justice alone, $1 million was earmarked. The remaining $807 thousand will be sent to the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) to finance new research studies.

The document also stipulates that the company publicize the efforts in major newspapers. The amounts under the deal are set to be paid in January 2021.

In Brazil, 17.9 million have been tested for COVID-19

Up to August, 17.9 million people—or 8.5 percent of the Brazilian population—had been tested to know if they had been infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Brazil. Of these, 21.5 percent (3.9 million people) tested positive.

The data can be found in the monthly edition of the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) COVID-19, published Wednesday (Sep. 23) by the government’s statistics agency IBGE.

According to the research coordinator Maria Lucia Vieira, the higher amount of tests available—and therefore the greater access to testing—can explain the increase in the number of people taking the test. “As the pandemic is not over, it’s natural that this number keeps rising, including among people who showed no symptoms, but were in contact with someone who had COVID-19, so they get tested to make sure,” she pointed out.

According to IBGE, the percentage of people who took the test for the diagnosis of the disease is higher among people with higher income—21.7 percent in the household income group of more than four minimum wages per capita, and below the five percent among those making up to half a minimum wage, which currently stands at $188.93.

“Those with the means to take the test to rule out the possibility [of having the disease] can do it at a lab. There are no signs there are more infections among those with higher income, but we have more people taking the tests among those who have higher income,” said the researcher.

The survey includes three kinds of tests: the swab test, where the material is collected with a cotton swab into the mouth and/or nose; the quick test with finger prick blood collection; and the blood test with collection from the vein. Of the 17.9 million people who took the test, 6.9 million did the swab type, of whom 25.2 percent tested positive.

The Federal District (19.4%) had the highest percentage of tests run among Brazilian states, followed by Piauí (14.4%) and Roraima (12%). “Of the 19.4 percent of those who took the test in the Federal District, only 4.1 percent tested positive. So this figure shows that more people are taking the tests than really being diagnosed with the disease,” Maria Lucia said.

Pernambuco (5.8%), Acre (6%), and Minas Gerais (6.1%) have the lowest test rates.

Despite the increase in the number of people getting tested, the group of those reporting to have some flu-like symptom decreased. In May, 24 million people stated they had some of the symptoms listed by the survey—like a cough, fever, and difficulty breathing. In August, this number dropped to 12.1 million—5.7 percent of the population.

“Now, the people who were in contact with others who were sick have more opportunities to ascertain whether they were contaminated. There are a lot of people who took the test without showing any symptoms,” Maria Lucia reported.

Brazil’s COVID-19 case tally stands at 4.6 million

The number of people who died due to the pandemic of the novel coronavirus has reached 138,977 in Brazil, as per the latest official data, released by the Health Ministry on Wednesday (Sep. 23).

In 24 hours, 869 new deaths were registered. Health authorities are also investigating 2,422 deaths that may be linked to the disease.

The country’s total case tally now stands at 4,624,885. From Tuesday to Wednesday, the state health secretariats added 33,281 new COVID-19 diagnoses to the statistics.

Also according to the update, 493,022 people are being monitored and another 3,992,886 have recovered from the illness.

São Paulo

In the last 24 hours, the state of São Paulo—with the country’s highest death and case counts—reported 6,551 new cases and 225 new deaths by COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases to 951,973 and the amount of deaths to 34,492.

Of the total of diagnosed cases, 818,593 patients have recovered from the disease, 104,209 of them after being hospitalized.

There are 3,972 people hospitalized across the state in serious, suspected, or confirmed cases of the new coronavirus, in addition to 5,280 people admitted to general wards. The occupancy rate of beds in inteensive care units stands at around 46.9 percent in the state and 46.1 percent in the Great São Paulo area.

States

After São Paulo, the states with most fatal cases are Rio de  Janeiro (17,911), Ceará (8,861), Pernambuco (8,085), and Minas Gerais (6,897). Those with the least lives lost thus far are Roraima (616), Acre (652), Amapá (697), Tocantins (890), and Mato Grosso do Sul (1,204).