Covid made other diseases deadlier in Brazil

Non-Covid deaths skyrocket
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During the pandemic, deaths at home from diseases unrelated to Covid skyrocketed in Brazil. Total figures were pushed largely by deaths from cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and undefined causes as fears of contamination in health units pushed people away from seeking treatment.

Data from the Health Ministry shows that deaths at home increased 22 percent between 2019 and 2020. The database, however, was only released in March and is yet to be revised, therefore, the numbers may suffer an even higher jump.

“During these periods there was an overload of the health system and a decrease in the coverage of primary care. Many people tried to go to the hospital and were unable to receive care because of the overburdening, others did not even try,” said Fátima Marinho, senior specialist at Vital Strategies.

The data points to an increase in cancer deaths in the home and a reduction in hospitals and health units. There were 42,460 deaths at home in 2020 against 34,101 in 2019, a 24.51-percent rise. In 2021, the number was 39,843.