Health Ministry bungle could mean Covid-19 cases are vastly underreported

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A mistake in the online form sent out by the Health Ministry and used by hospitals to report coronavirus cases may have caused underreporting of patient numbers around the country.

Despite the virus rapidly spreading within Brazil, the protocol used by the Health Ministry still doesn’t allow hospitals to report Covid-19 cases if the patients have not traveled abroad recently or have not had contact with an individual suspected or confirmed to have been infected with the coronavirus.

For instance, in the case of Brazil’s first death from Covid-19, the man in question was not listed as a confirmed infection because he had not traveled abroad or reported having contact with a confirmed patient.

The Ministry of Health has acknowledged the error and has pledged to correct it as soon as possible. With that, it is expected that confirmed Covid-19 cases in the country will jump exponentially, as local transmission has been detected for some time now.

In its latest update, the Health Ministry has counted 621 confirmed cases and 7 deaths.