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Novel Coronavirus

IBGE inaugurates telephone collection of PNAD Covid covering more than 190 thousand households

Section: Special Series | Carmen Nery

May 04, 2020 02h00 PM | Last Updated: June 24, 2020 07h07 PM

The PNAD Covid telephone collection has begun this Monday (4). It is a version of the Continuous National Household Sample Survey, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, to quantify the Covid-19 cases and the impact of the pandemic in the labor market. About two thousand IBGE agents have already started calling 193,600 households in 3,364 municipalities, covering all states of the country.

To define the sample of the new survey, the IBGE used as base the 211 thousand households that participated in the Continuous PNAD in the first quarter of 2019 and selected those with a registered phone number.

The interviews lasted nearly 10 minutes and residents that received the call can confirm the collection agents' identities by means of the website Answering to the IBGE or by calling 0800 721 8181, and inform the register, ID card or insurance number of the interviewer.

The first results are expected in May. "Our collection schedule will depend on the duration of the lockdown, but we plan to release results every week, on Fridays", explains the coordinator of Labor and Income of the IBGE, Ms. Maria Lucia Vieira. She emphasizes that the data for Brazil and Major Regions will be made available weekly, whereas the information by States will be monthly released.

#PraCegoVer foto de funcionário do IBGE ao telefone realizando entrevistaThe telephone interviews of the PNAD Covid last nearly 10 minutes - Photo: Marcelo Lima/IBGE

The survey will investigate the quantity of persons with the symptoms of the Covid-19, as fever, cough, difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, smell and taste loss, fatigue, nausea and runny nose. "We will identify part of the population who sought for care and what kind of health care centers were sought upon, among other information. For those who did not seek care, we will find out how they treated the symptoms", explains Ms. Maria Lucia Vieira.

In the cases of hospitalization, the survey will investigate if the patient was sedated, intubated or put on artificial respiration with a ventilator. If the residents did not go to a health center, they will be asked whether any health professionals visited their homes or if they took prescribed or unprescribed medicine.

PNAD Covid will also monitor changes in the labor market in this period of pandemic, approaching issues related to home office adoption, the reasons that prevented job search and information on household earnings. Please, click here to see the survey questionnaire.

Information confidentiality is guaranteed by law

All the information collected by the IBGE has confidentiality assured by Law No. 5534/1968, which deals with information confidentiality and ensures that the data can only be used for statistical purposes.

“The confidentiality of the residents' information is guaranteed the same way it is ensured in face-to-face collection and data are used only for statistics and in aggregated way, without any personal identification. The data are also not delivered to any other body and follow UN Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics”, says Maria Lucia Vieira.

The IBGE Director of Surveys, Mr. Eduardo Rios-Neto, explains how the Institute is working at times of social distancing and how the PNAD Covid elaboration process was. “We determined the end of face-to-face collection on March 17 and, since then, we have started a conversation with the technicians about the continuity of the survey, as well as about the possibility of other products. That is how the idea of PNAD Covid started to take shape: a quality survey developed on such short notice that it only became a reality thanks to the dedication of the whole Board of Directors of the IBGE and of the National School of Statistical Sciences (Ence) ”

Survey has been developed with the support of experts from other institutions

The IBGE is using its expertize in telephone collection of economic surveys, but, in order to better define the format of PNAD Covid, the technical body has also received the support of specialists in sampling and in telephone surveys from other institutions.

Next, you can see the statement of some of the experts who are part of the team that contributed to the development of PNAD Covid:

"PNAD Covid will allow for the elaboration of statistics on labor, income and life conditions of the population in the short-run, which is essential for the design, monitoring and implementation of emergence public policies, among other aspects. It will be a powerful ally to society, for the several spheres of the government and of universities to measure and understand the effects of the pandemic on the Brazilian population. In order to succeed thoroughly, the initiative must count on the population adherence to it, answering as they used to do in face-to-face interviews, to the IBGE, except now the approach is a new one."

Pedro Luis do Nascimento Silva, researcher and volunteer collaborator few the National School of Statistical Sciences (Ence) and former president of the International Statistical Institute - (ISI)


"Just as the other National Statistical Offices are adapting their surveys in a experimental way to monitor the impacts of the pandemic on the economy and society as a whole, this IBGE initiative is extremely important and challenging. The team responsible for elaboration of PNAD Covid has searched for those international initiatives, as well as for the expertise and best practices for telephone collection to ensure their quality.

Andréa Borges Paim, IBGE coordinator of Methods and Quality


"PNAD Covid will provide best possible quality data in view of all the restriction imposed by the short time for planning and internationalizing the survey. This way, it will respond timely to the Brazilian population demands for information in face of the challenges brought by the pandemic."

Raphael Nishimura, head of Sampling in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research, from the University of Michigan


"The strategy of using the sample of the Continuous PNAD in the PNAD Covid is quite well thought, since the sampling design of the Continuous PNAD is very well-known, with all its result possibilities and very good quality. It is an alternative which will allow the continuity of the official statistics in Brazil in the months to come."

Marcel de Toledo Vieira, professor of the Federal University of Juiz de Fora (UFJF) and expert in sampling with  PhD in statistics from the University of Southampton


"We have actively participate in the debates and have also taken part in the development of the sampling construction. PNAD Covid reveals itself as an urgent and necessary survey in a critical moment for the world and it will enter the history of the IBGE and of Brazil. The information will be extremely relevant for the construction of social-economic indicator that will portray the current Brazilian reality."

Cristiane dos Santos Moutinho, IBGE  of Population and Social Indicators


"Since 2003, I have been working in the conduction of the survey on surveillance and monitoring of risk factors and protection against chronicle diseases (vigitel).  Based on the expertise of having carried out more than 1,800 phone interviews, I became part of the PNAD Covid team, which is technically very competent, with researchers involved in the most comprehensive surveys in the country, so that we are very certain that the methodology works, bot as to the sample quality and for the carrying out of the interviews."

Rafael Moreira Claro, adviser of the Ministry of Health and professor of the Nursing School of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG)


"I have shared my experience with DataSenado in phone surveys with the IBGE teams. Facing the pandemic in an intelligent and effective way requires reliable information, which PNAD Covid will provide to the country at this moment of uncertainty and unpredictability. This will also be a methodological milestone in the history of surveys in Brazil, as their results will support and serve as a reference for all researchers in the country."

Marcos Ruben de Oliveira, sample statistician in the DataSenado Research Institute, of the Federal Senate


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