Experimental statistics

PNAD Covid19: by July, 13.3 million persons had been tested for coronavirus in Brazil

Section: Special Series

August 20, 2020 09h00 AM | Last Updated: August 22, 2020 02h50 AM

From the beginning of the pandemic to July 2020, about 13.3 million persons in the country (or 6.3% of the Brazilian population) had been tested for Covid-19. Roughly 20.4% of them (or 2.7 million) tested positive and 79.6% did not test positive in the test(s) carried out.

Testing was one of the six new issues dealt with by the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD Covid19), which is part of the IBGE’s Experimental Statistics, in July. The other issues are: Comorbidities, Behavior (in social distancing), School Indicators, Request and Granting of Loans and Hygiene and Protection Items. Further information on the IBGE actions aimed at fighting the pandemic can be found at covid19.ibge.gov.br.

In July, a total 47.2 million individuals (or 22.4% of the estimated Brazilian population, of 211.1 million persons), had at least one of the comorbidities investigated, being hypertension the most frequent one (12.8%). The others were: asthma or bronchitis or emphysema (5.7%); diabetes (5.3%); (3.0%); heart diseases (2.7%) and cancer (1.1%). The percentage of persons with some type of chronic disease testing positive for Covid-19 was 1.6%.

As for people’s behavior during the pandemic, 4.1 million (2.0% of the population) adopted no restrictive measures in July; 64.4 million (30.5%) reduced social contact but were still going out; 92.0 million (43.6%) stayed home and went out only for basic necessities and 49.2 million (23.3%) were isolated.

About 45.3 million persons aged 6 to 29 attended school or university, amounting to 58.7% of the population in that age bracket. As for availability of school activities, 72.0% had activities, 19,1% did not and 8.9% did not because they were on vacation. Persons enrolled in school but without any activities in July amounted to 8.7 million and those with activities, to 32.6 million.

Considering the total 68.5 million housing units, in about 4 million of them (5.9%) a resident applied for a loan, in about 3.3 million (4.8%) they applied for a loan and were granted one and in 762 thousand (1.1%) they applied for a loan but were not granted one. It is worth noting that approximately 82% of the loan requests were successful. 

Among the 68.5 million housing units where there were basic hygiene and protection items, in almost all were found soap or detergent (99,6%), masks (99.3%) and sanitary water or disinfectant (98.1%). “ 70% alcohol” was present in 95.8%, whereas disposable gloves, in only 43.2% of the housing units surveyed.

Proportion of housing units receiving emergency aid records increase 

The proportion of housing units in the country receiving some type of emergency aid related to the pandemic increased from 43.0% in June to 44.1% in July, with the average benefit being R$ 896 per housing unit. The percentage of housing units receiving the aid increased in all the Major Regions. The North and Northeast recorded the highest percentages, 60.66% and 59.6%, respectively.

The employment-population ratio, that is, the percentage of employed persons in relation to the persons at working age, went from 49.0% in June to 47.9% in July. Among the 81.5 million employed persons in July, 9.7 million were away from work in the week of reference, among whom 6.8 million were away due to social distancing. Both figures decreased, respectively, by 34.0% and 42.6% against June.

From June to July, the proportion of persons away from work due to the pandemic in the total employed persons fell from 14.2% to 8.3%. Except for Mato Grosso, all the Federation Units recorded a decrease in this indicator.

In the five regions, the number of hours worked by employed persons increased again, and reflected the gradual recovery of activities. The average number of hours usually worked was 40.1 per week and the number of hours effectively worked in the week of reference was 32.2, on the average.

The total number of unemployed persons in July was 12.3 million, 3.7% above the total of June (in absolute figures, it is equivalent to 438 thousand persons). The Central West was the only region to record decrease in the unemployed population (-3.8%), whereas the North (5.4%) and Southeast (5?3%) recorded the biggest changes.

In Brazil, according to the results of PNAD COVID, the unemployment rate increased 0.7 percentage points from June to July (with a change from 12.4% to 13.1%). The rate of July was bigger than in June for all the Major Regions, except for the Central West,. The July figures, in decreasing order, were: Northeast (14.0%), Southeast (14.7%), North (13.1%), Central West  (12.2%) and South (10.3%).

The population out of the workforce, in July, was estimated at 76.5 million persons (+2.1% in relation to June). From that total, 36.9% (28.2 million) would like to work, but did not search for work, and 24.8% (19.0 million) did not search for work due to the pandemic or to lack of positions in the locality, but they would like to work. In June, among the persons who would like to work but did not, 66.7% reported as the main reason the pandemic or lack of positions in the locality. In July, that proportion increased to 67.0%.

Per capita household income records an increase of 2.9%

The real average household income effectively earned in July was R$ 1,272, that is, 2.9% above the rate of June (R$ 1,236). The North and Northeast recorded the lowest figures, R$ 899 and R$ 903, respectively.

The average per capita household income where none of the residents received any type of aid from the government granted due to the pandemic (R$ 1,760) was, on the average, more than twice as that where a resident received the aid (R$ 797). That proportion was repeated in the five regions.

The states of the North and Northeast had the biggest proportions of housing units where one of the residents is the beneficiary of some type of emergency aid. Three northern states are among those with the highest percentages: Amapá  (68.8%); Maranhão (65.8%); Pará (64.5); Alagoas (62.8%) and Amazonas (62.6%). Following them come the other states of the North and Northeast, except Rondônia (48.5%), with more than half of the housing units below 50%. In the South, Rio Grande do Sul (29.6%) and Santa Catarina (24.5%) had the smallest proportions.

Flu-like symptoms affected 6.5% of the population, most of them, women

In July, 13.8 million persons (or 6.5% of the population) had one of the flu-like symptoms surveyed. In May, that figure was 11.4% and, in June, 7.3%. Loss of smell or taste was reported by 0.8% of the population, being equivalent to 1.8 million persons; cough, fever and difficulty to breathe, as well as cough, fever and chest pain, were reported by 0.3% of the population, respectively by 666 thousand and 540 thousand persons.

A total 2.1 million persons (or 1.0% of the population) had overlapped symptoms of the flu and Covid 19 (loss of taste or smell, cough and difficulty to breathe, or fever, cough and chest pain). 

As for the Major Regions, in May and June, the North had the highest percentage of persons with a flu-like symptom (8.9%, being equivalent to 1.6 million persons in June). Nevertheless, in July, the Central West Region, which had the lowest percentage in those months, went to the third position, with 7.1% of the persons reporting symptoms.

Among persons reporting any of the flu-like symptoms investigated, 57.3% were women, 49.5% were between 30 and 59 years of age, 56.6% were self-declared black or brown and 35.1% had no schooling or incomplete elementary school. By sex, there was a trend to increase among women reporting symptoms, and the same was observed among persons aged 60 and over. In May, 14.8% of the persons reporting symptoms were in that age group, changing from 15.8% in June to 16.4% in July. The participation of the population without schooling reporting symptoms also increased, with a change from 32.8% in May to 35.1% in July.

In July, about 22.8% (or 3.1 million) of the persons reporting symptoms sought medical assistance at a health establishment. Most of them sought assistance at public healthcare u nits (community healthcare centers, family health staff, UPAs, SUS Emergency Healthcare Unit or Hospital), 75.3% among those reporting symptoms (2.4 million persons) and 75.7% among those with any of the overlapped symptoms (806 thousand persons).

Among persons seeking medical assistance at hospitals, 11.2% (138 thousand, against 115 in June) of those reporting any of the symptoms surveyed and 14.6% (71 thousand, against 57 thousand in June) of those reporting overlapped symptoms need to be hospitalized. Most of the hospitalized persons were men (53.4% and 53.6%, respectively) and black or brown (56.4% and 57.0%, respectively).

Testing was the highest in the Federal District and the lowest in Pernambuco 

The Federation Unit with the highest percentage of testing was the highest in the Federal District (16.7%), followed by Amapá (11.0%) and Piauí (10.5%). On the other hand, Pernambuco registered the lowest percentage (4.1%), followed by Minas Gerais, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul (the three with 4.5%).

Considering the type of test, among the 13.3 million persons tested,  4.7 million were tested with the SWAB type and 25.5% of them tested positive; 6.4 million were tested with the rapid test by means of a fringer prick and 15.9% tested positive; whereas 4,0 million had blood drawn from a vein, with 24.6% positive results.

The higher the level of schooling, the biggest the percentage of persons being tested. Those with no schooling of with incomplete elementary school were 3.1% and those with complete higher education of a graduate degree, 14.2%. The higher the per capita household income, the bigger the percentage of persons being tested for Covid19, reaching 14.2% among persons in the highest income range, and below 4.0% in the first two deciles.

Women and the elderly are more obedient to distancing rules

In terms of restrictive distancing rules, women had bigger percentages of compliance to such rules than men. Regarding age groups, restriction was the highest among persons up to 13 years of age and among those aged 60 and over – for those, 84.5% were home and went out only in case of necessity or remained long at home.

In the North Region, almost 40% of the children in elementary school and almost half of those in high school had no school activities in July. In the South, however, 91.7% of the children in elementary school and almost 90% of those in high school managed to have school activities.

Persons from lower ranges of per capita income household income in terms of minimum wages had higher percentages of children and teenagers without activities. Among those living in housing units with per capita household earnings of up to half a minimum wage, 24.2% did not have school activities, against 9.5% in housing units with per capita household earnings of 4 or more minimum wages.

In the analysis of loan requests by sources, the category Bank or Financing Company was the most frequent one (75.7%). The percentage of housing units where a resident succeeded in borrowing money from friends or relatives was 23.6%. The same behavior was observed in all the Major Regions. 

The basic hygiene and protection items are mostly present in household with higher per capita income. A highlight is the smaller presence of alcohol at 70% in households with per capita income of half a minimum wage in the North Region (90.5%).