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COVID-19 Observatory points to the biggest health system collapse in the history of Brazil


Regina Castro (AFN)


Faced with the current pandemic scenario, Fiocruz released this Tuesday (March 16), another edition of the Fiocruz COVID-19 Observatory Extraordinary Bulletin. The analysis draws attention to the indicators that point to an extremely critical situation across the country. In the view of the researchers who carry it out, this is the biggest health system collapse in the history of Brazil.

The Bulletin shows that, at the moment, of the 27 federative units, 24 states and the Federal District have occupancy rates for ICU COVID-19 beds for adults in the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS, in the Portuguese acronym) equal to or greater than 80%, 15 of which with rates equal to or greater than 90%. In relation to capital cities, 25 of the 27 have these rates equal to or higher than 80%, 19 of which are higher than 90%.

The data are from the health departments of the states and the Federal District, and from the health departments of the state capitals. The new information obtained was added to the historical series already presented by the Bulletin. The mapping brings data obtained since July 17, 2020.

Historical series of occupancy rates for ICU COVID-19 beds for adults in the Brazilian Public Health System. Source: Fiocruz COVID-19 Observatory

In order to prevent the number of cases and deaths from spreading further across the country, as well as to reduce bed occupancy rates, the researchers advocate for the adoption of strict prevention and control actions, such as stricter measures for restricting non-essential activities. They also highlight the need to expand measures of physical and social distance, the use of masks on a large scale, and the acceleration of vaccination.

Occupancy rates for ICU COVID-19 beds for adults in the Brazilian Public Health System on March 16. Source: Fiocruz COVID-19 Observatory


The municipality of Araraquara, in São Paulo, is presented in the Bulletin as one of the current examples of how measures to restrict non-essential activities prevent the collapse or prolongation of the critical situation in health services and systems. With the measures adopted by the municipality, Araraquara managed to reduce the transmission of cases and deaths, protecting the life and health of the population.

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