Government Data Shows 140% More Deaths by Covid in Brazil

Number of deaths by the beginning of May may exceed 16 thousand, more than double what the Ministry of Health reported at the time

São Paulo

Data from the Ministry of Health that was tabulated by Folha shows that Brazil had, until April, 9,420 more deaths caused by Covid-19 than the ministry published at the time.

On May 2, Jair Bolsonaro’s government confirmed 6,724 deaths from the disease. In reality, this number should be 16,144 deaths (140% more than the balance presented at the beginning of May).

Ministry Health Building (Foto: Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress, PODER) - Folhapress

This database, updated on the 25th, now shows 3,081 more confirmed deaths due to the new coronavirus until May 2. The difference occurs because of the accounted date: the ministry daily discloses the number of deaths according to the day they are notified, not when they occurred, as in the basis used by the report.

Test result delays or bureaucratic issues cause this notification delay. So deaths that occurred in April are accounted for in May when the ministry released them. Part of the deaths in May may be recorded only in June.

Folha analyzed the Ministry of Health numbers and concluded that another 6,339 deaths could also be attributed to Covid-19.

The estimate for this amount considers the number of deaths above the historical average (from 2015 to 2019) due to severe acute respiratory syndrome without a specified cause.

Folha questioned the Ministry of Health about differences in the counting and notification of coronavirus cases but received no response from the institution.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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