Institutional video shown at an event with Bolsonaro distorts data on covid-19 and misinforms

Institutional video shown at an event with Bolsonaro distorts data on covid-19 and misinforms
Institutional video shown at an event with Bolsonaro distorts data on covid-19 and misinforms
An institutional video from the City of Chapeco aired in event with the president Jair Bolsonaro this Wednesday, 7, distorts and omits facts about the fighting the pandemic in the municipality and the adoption of the “early treatment” for covid-19, which includes protocols of drugs without efficacy and proven safety. The video was shown on the official profile of the Planalto Palace on social media.

Earlier in the week, Bolsonaro had already signaled that he would visit the city after sharing a video in which Mayor João Rodrigues (PSD) shows empty nursing beds and attributes a supposed drop in the number of hospitalizations in the municipality to the use of early treatment.

President Jair Bolsonaro visited the premises of the Advanced Service Center Covid-19, in Chapecó (SC), this Wednesday morning, 7. Photo: Alan Santos / PR

What showed Estadão, however, the occupancy rates of Intensive Care Units (ICUs) in Chapecó are still close to full capacity. This Tuesday, 90% of beds in public ICUs and 93% of vacancies in private ICUs are occupied. With 544 deaths by covid-19, more than 75% of which were registered this year, the city has a death rate per 100 thousand inhabitants higher than the national average. There are 243 deaths caused by coronavirus for every 100 thousand inhabitants, while the country has a rate of 157.7 deaths per 100 thousand.

In addition, Bolsonaro and Rodrigues omitted that the city adopted restrictive circulation measures amid the collapse of the health system between February and March. The government restricted the operation of non-essential activities and introduced a curfew.

To the numbers

The City of Chapecó highlights in the video that the number of active cases in the city decreased from 5,555 to 392 in 30 days. These data, in fact, are described in the epidemiological bulletins of the days March 4th e April 05, available no site and on social networks of the municipal administration. The report released on Tuesday, on the other hand, has already shown a further increase to 606 occurrences.

In all, the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the city rose from 27,364 to 33,853 (up 23.7%), on the dates considered in the institutional video. Deaths from covid-19 went from 321 to 537, a percentage increase of 67.2% in the same period.

In any case, the connection of epidemiological data with the use of drugs without proven efficacy is unsustainable. In previous reports, infectious disease physicians explained to the Estadão Checks that several factors can contribute to the favorable or unfavorable evolution of a disease – therefore, it is not possible to establish a cause and effect relationship of the medication just by observing the epidemiological numbers.

In the case of covid-19, most patients recover without the need for interventions, which makes it difficult to measure the impact of the adopted protocols. The appropriate method to measure the efficacy and also the safety of a pharmacological treatment is to carry out randomized clinical studies, because in these researches, scientists apply tools to minimize external interferences.

O Estadão Checks already disproved similar rumors about São Lourenço (MG), Maxaranguape (RN) e São Pedro dos Crentes (MA).

Hospital expansion

The city hall video presents correct information about the expansion of hospital beds in the city. In February, the Chapecó Events Center was transformed into an Advanced Service Center for Covid-19 (CAAC). The establishment initially housed 35 infirmary beds and later received a second wing, with 40 vacancies, in addition to 20 beds of Semi-Intensive Care Units (UTSI).

The location is depicted in the video released by Rodrigues last week, in which the mayor shows empty ICU beds. The two ward wards were recently deactivated, while five patients are still hospitalized at UTSI, according to prefecture bulletin this Wednesday. The government stressed in a social network that the deactivation of infirmary 2 occurred after almost 100 discharges and 80 patient transfers.

About the Hospital Regional do Oeste (HRO), a note of the hospital shows that, in December, the complex had 35 intensive care beds. In March, the health unit already had 62 ICU vacancies, when announced a new expansion to 108 beds. According to Dice of the city hall, on Wednesday, 93% of the HRO ICU beds were occupied.

Altogether, Chapecó currently has 125 ICU beds for patients with covid-19.

Occupancy rate

According to the city hall video, there was a reduction of more than 50% in the occupation of ICU vacancies by Chapecoenses. The city’s epidemiological bulletins, however, did not segment the origin of the patients until the document released yesterday. This Wednesday, the report changed and began to specifically inform how many inmates are from the city or other regions.

The video also omits that the expansion of hospital infrastructure has a significant impact on bed occupancy rates in the city. This is because the index is calculated from dividing the number of patients admitted per day to the ICU by the operational readers per day.

The Western Regional Hospital confirmed that until Monday, 5, 50% of the ICU-Covid beds were occupied by Chapecoenses. However, the Hospital serves the entire western region of Santa Catarina.

Considering the general occupancy of ICUs for HRO covid-19 patients, there was no reduction. On March 4, 100% of the beds were used, the same rate as on April 5. This Tuesday, 93% of the hospital’s intensive care beds were occupied. The municipality’s epidemiological bulletin does not disclose the number of patients admitted to the hospital on those dates, only the occupancy rate.

Across the municipality, the number of inpatients with covid in ICUs rose from 124, on March 4, to 129, on April 5, up 4%. The number of coronavirus patients in public ICUs was 88 to 103 between these dates, an increase of 17%.

O Estadão Checks contacted the city of Chapecó about the completion of this check, but still has not received a response./ COLLABORATED Luis Lopes, special for Estadão.

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