Datafolha survey suggests that the number of Brazilians infected by COVID-19 is almost double the official

The survey indicates that one in four Brazilians aged 16 or over has already been infected with the coronavirus

Molecular diagnosis kit for coronavirus
Molecular diagnosis kit for coronavirus from Bio-Manguinhos / Fiocruz. Photo: Bernardo Portela/Fiocruz Imagens
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Brazilians who say they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic account for about 42 million people, nearly double the number of cases reported by the federal government, Datafolha survey data showed on Saturday.

According to the Ministry of Health, 22,927,203 cases of the disease were accumulated until Friday.

The survey indicates that one in four Brazilians aged 16 or over has already been infected with the coronavirus. The survey heard 2,023 people by phone in this age group, between the 12th and 13th of January, with a margin of error of more or less two percentage points.

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Considering that the survey was carried out only with the population over 16 years of age and the official data includes people under this age, it is possible that underreporting is even greater.

Research shows that the highest proportion of people who test positive for the disease are among the higher-income population.

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According to the data, 37% of respondents earning more than ten minimum wages said they had tested positive for the virus. Among those with an income of up to two minimum wages, 19% were detected with COVID-19.

Regarding symptoms, 30% said they had a cough and stuffy nose (which represents 50.3 million people), 22% reported fever (36.9 million), and 9% shortness of breath (15.1 million), in the pandemic period – since March 2020.

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As for the age group, of the total number of respondents between 16 and 24 years old, 28% said they had received a positive test. Among those aged 25 to 34, 29% were infected. Between 35 and 44 years, 31%. The proportion drops to 25% among people aged 45 to 59. Only 14% of respondents aged 60 and over reported positive for the virus.

Brazil is the third country with the highest number of deaths from COVID-19, behind only the United States and Russia, and the third in confirmed cases, below the USA and India.

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