Brazil's Health Ministry Changes Strategy and Recommends People Seek Doctor with First Symptoms of Covid-19

Until Thursday (9), recommendation was only seek help in more serious cases


Brazil's Health Ministry changed its strategy Thursday (9) and now recommends that patients seek medical attention when experiencing any of the symptoms of Covid-19, even those considered mild.

Before, the ministry recommended whoever had the mildest symptoms should stay at home and seek help only in case of more severe effects attributable to the disease, such as shortness of breath.

Screen grab of TV Brasil showing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro putting a face mask on as he prepares to speak with journalists at Planalto Palace in Brasilia on July 7, 2020. - Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Tuesday he had tested positive for the coronavirus but said he was feeling "perfectly well" and had only mild symptoms. (Photo by - / TV BRASIL / AFP) - AFP

According to the executive secretary of the ministry, Elcio Franco, evidence in Brazil and the world showed that, when seeking care at an early stage of the disease, it is possible to avoid aggravation.

"The Ministry of Health adopted a new orientation for Covid-19 cases, changing the strategy from 'stay at home' to 'in cases of symptoms, look for a health professional', even if it is a mild symptom," he said in a press conference this Thursday (9).

He added that the new guideline seeks to prevent deaths and the worsening of the disease, which, consequently, compromises the service structure. Elcio argued that the patient, while waiting at home, has arrived at the hospital in more severe clinical conditions, which makes it challenging to reverse the disease.

Folha's report published on Tuesday (7) showed a 53% jump in natural deaths at home between March 15 and June 13.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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