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13.3 million persons had been tested for Covid-19 by July

Section: Special Series | Alerrandre Barros | Design: Helga Szpiz

August 20, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: August 26, 2020 12h14 PM

  • Highlights

  • 13.3 million persons, or 6.3% of the population had been tested for Covid-19 by July, the highest percentage being registered in the Federal District (16.7%).
  • 47.2 million persons had some type of comorbidity.
  • 4.1 million persons adopted no coronavirus.
  • 19.1% of the students in the country had no school activity in July.
  • Almost all the houeholds had masks and hygiene items.
  • In 5.9% of the holds atleast one resident applied for a loan in order to face the pandemic.
  • The unemployment rate increased to 13.1%, with a total 12.3 million unemployed persons.
  • A total more 813 thousand homes were granted the emergency aid in July.
  • The number of persons with overlapped symptoms fell to 2.1 million.
#PraCegoVer Do lado esquerdo da foto, tem uma pessoa sendo testada para Covid-19. Do lado esquerdo, o técnico, de avental, máscara e touca está aplicando o teste.
6.3% of the population was tested for Covid-19 - Photo: Raquel Portugal/Fiocruz Imagens

About 13.3 million persons (6.3% of the population) had been tested for Covid-19 by July and a total 2.7 million (20.4%) tested positive for the disease. The data comes from the monthly PNAD COVID19, released today (20) by the IBGE, which, in this edition, presents six new issues related to the pandemic, besides matters related to the labor market and to flu-like symptoms.

Among the types of test for Covid-19 were: the one carried out by means of a nasopharyngeal swab; the rapid test of a small drop of blood drawn from a finger or of blood drawn from a vein in the arm. 

“Men and women were tested at the same proportion (6.2% and 6.4%, respectively), at ages ranging between 30 and 59 (9.1%). The higher the level of schooling and income, the bigger the percentages of persons being tested”, the survey coordinator,  Maria Lúcia Vieira, says.

The Federal District (16.7%) was the Federation Unit with the biggest percentage of tests carried out since the start of the pandemic, followed by Amapá (11.0%) and Piauí (10.5%). On the other hand, Pernambuco had the smallest percentage (4.1%) of tests, as well as Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio Grande, the three states with 4.5%.

Individuals with comorbidities amounted to 22.4% of the population in July

The survey also showed that 47.2 million persons had a type of comorbidity as a possible aggravating factor of a their clinical picture in the case Covid-19. Hypertension was the most common one (12.8%). The others were asthma or bronchitis or emphysema (5.7%); diabetes (5.3%); depression (3.0%); heart diseases (2.7%) and cancer (1.1%). “The percentage of persons with any of those diseases testing positive for Covid19 was 1.6%,” Ms. Vieira adds.

Strict social distancing was followed by 49.2 million persons  

In July, 4.1 million persons followed no restrictive social distancing measures in order to prevent infection with the coronavirus. A total 64.4 million reduced physical contact, but were still going out, whereas 92.0 million stayed home and went out only for basic necessities. About 49.2 million, or 23.3% of the population were isolated.

“Most restrictive distancing measures were followed, mainly, by women, children up to 13 years of age and the elderly. Approximately 84.5% of the elderly stayed at home or went out only in case of necessity,” the survey coordinator says.

19.1% of the students did no school activities

PNAD COVID19 also reveals that 8.7 million students attending school or university, aged 6 to 29, did no school activities in July, that is, 19.1% of the total. Another 72.0% of the students, or 32.6 million, had school activities. The other 8.9% were on vacation in the period.

Among the 45.3 million students, 60.5% were attending elementary school, 21.1%, high school, and 18.4%, higher education.

“The survey presents major differences between the Major Regions. In the North, almost 40% of the elementary school students and almost half of those in high school were left without activities in July. In the South, however, 91.7% of those in elementary school and almost 90% of the ones in high school had school activities. The lower the family income, the bigger the percentage of students without activities during the pandemic,” Ms. Vieira highlights.

Almost all the municipalities had masks and hygiene items

The survey also shows that, in July, almost all the 68.5 million households had basic hygiene items against Covid-19, such as soap por detergent for hand cleaning (99.6%), masks (99.3%) and sanitary water of disinfectant (98.1%) for para home cleaning.

Isopropyl alcohol at 70%, indicated for use against the virus, was present in 95.8% of the households. Disposable gloves, however, in only 43.2% of them. These two items were less common in homes with lower income and in the North and Northeast Regions.

3.3 million persons were granted loans to face the pandemic

In about 4 million households (5.9%) a resident applied for a loan, in July, in order to face the pandemic, but in 762 thousand, the loan was not granted. A total 3.3 requests were successful.

“Among those applying for a loan but not being granted one, 59.2% belong to the two lowest income ranges, earning less than one minimum wage”, Maria Lúcia Vieira says.

The main sources of loans were banks and other financial institutions (75.7%). In 23.6% households a resident got to borrow money from friends or relatives.

Unemployment rate increases and employed persons amount to 12.3 million

As for the labor market, PNAD COVID19 reports an increase from 12.4% to 13.1% in the unemployment rate, reaching 12.3 million persons. A total 438 persons more were unemployed, against June. As a result, the employed population fell to 81.5 million workers.

Among the employed, about 3.2 million were not earning income from work, amounting to 32.4% of the overall number of persons away from work. In the preceding month, almost half of them (48.4%) was out of their earnings.

Also among the 9.7 million who were away from work, 6.8 million were in that situation due to social distancing, with a decrease of 42.6% against the total persons away from work in June. “That means less than half of the persons away in May, when the survey was launched. They went back to work or may have been fired.”

In the group of persons not away from work, 8.4 million were working remotely, or 11.7% of them. 

Emergency aid benefited more than 813 thousand homes in July 

In July, 30.2 million households in Brazil, or 44.1% of the total, received some emergency aid related to the pandemic. That corresponds to an increase by 813 thousand in the homes assisted, against the previous month (43.0%)

The percentage of households receiving the aid increased in all the Major Regions, mainly in the North (60.6%) and Northeast (59.6%). In the South, 30.9% received the benefit. The average aid went from R$ 885 to R$ 896.

Number of persons with overlapped symptoms falls in July 

The survey also shows a decrease to 2.1 million in the number of persons reporting overlapped symptoms of the flu and Covid-19: loss of smell or taste (1.8 million persons); fever, cough and difficulty to breathe (666 thousand); and fever, cough and chest pain (540 thousand). In June, a total 2.4 million had overlapped symptoms. 

In July, 1.3 million persons, among those with overlapped symptoms, sought medical assistance at a health establishment, 200 thousand persons more than in the preceding month. Most of them (75.7%) medical care at establisshments belonging to the Unified Health System (SUS). A total 71 thousand were hospitalized.

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