Brazil's coronavirus cases much higher than being reported, study finds

WION Web Team Brazil Apr 14, 2020, 06.13 PM(IST)

Bolsonaro at a press conference on coronavirus in Brazil Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

According to a study released on Monday, too little testing and long waits to confirm the results are few of the reasons behind the misleading figures

Brazil most likely has 12 times more cases of COVID-19 than are being officially reported by the government.

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According to a study released on Monday, too little testing and long waits to confirm the results are few of the reasons behind the misleading figures.

The ratio of cases resulting in deaths through April 10 was examined by researchers at a consortium of Brazilian universities and institutes.

The figures were then compared with data on the expected death rate from the World Health Organization(WHO) the much higher-than-expected death rate in Brazil indicates there are many more cases of the virus than are being counted.

The study estimates only 8 per cent of cases are being officially reported. The consortium known as the center for health operations and intelligence identifies that the government has focused on testing only serious cases rather than all suspected cases.

The center and medical professionals have also complained of long wait times to get test results. On Monday according to official figures, Brazil’s coronavirus death toll rose to 1,328  while the number of confirmed cases hit 23,430 as of last Thursday, Brazil had around 127,000 suspected cases and carried out just short of 63,000 tests. 

According to the health ministry, more than 93,000 tests are still being processed for results but the researchers now have some grim projections.

According to them, by April 20, the number of cases will grow to 25,164 in its most optimistic scenario and 60,413 cases in its most pessimistic.

While hospitalizations for severe respiratory symptoms has more than trebled in Brazil this year, only 12 per cent of the total cases have been confirmed as COVID-19 positive.

The outbreak has already stoked tension in the Brazilian government. The right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro has been downplaying risks of the virus and urging the country to return to normal.

On the contrary, Brazil's health minister, state governors and local officials are urging stricter measures.