The corona virus pandemic raging across the world will worsen if countries fail to comply with stringent health prevention measures, the World Health Organization (WHO) warns.
“Let me be frank, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction, the virus remains the number one public enemy,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Ph.D., said at a virtual briefing from the UN agency’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on July 13, 2020.
“If the basics are not followed, the only way this pandemic will take place – it will get worse and worse.”
Tedros continues to say that about 50 percent of new cases only come from 2 countries, the United States and Brazil.
In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro a new information dashboard was launched as part of an effort to combat unreported diseases in the city’s slums, Reuters reported.
Rio de Janeiro, and Brazil, only count test-based confirmations on their public dashboards, even though the testing rate is very low.
The Brazilian authorities also downplayed the case count among those who had comorbidities as Covid-19 even if the direct cause of death was COVID-19 disease.
The dashboard, a collection of graphs and information arranged in a graphical display, aggregates coronavirus data from about 120 of the approximately 1,000 poor neighborhoods in Rio, said Theresa Williamson, head of the Catalytic Community, on July 9, 2020.
While the dash only accounts for about 10% of the Rio favela, they are some of the most populous, such as Rocinha, one of the largest slums in Latin America with a population of more than 100,000 people.
“Now that the dashboard has been launched, we want to reach the highest number of regions,” Williamson said at a press conference on July 9, 2020.
“Because it is not reported, we are still far from recognizing the true situation.”
Around 1.3 million people live in the Rio favela, where the rate of COVID-19 infection is feared to be higher because of poor nutrition, narrow housing and poor health, but cases are difficult to calculate.
Latest data shows more than 7,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Rio.
Because favela levels are difficult to track, community members begin to maintain their own numbers, with help from non-profits, and the dashboard integrates data from about 30 favela-based reporters, government information, and news reports.
Residents of favelas can also report if they think they have the disease and whether the symptoms are mild or severe.
Williamson said he “hopes that when residents add symptom data to the platform, the transmission hotspot will become visible, indicating areas that need attention.”
In some cases, the number of deaths on the dashboard is far higher than the amount officially recognized by the Rio de Janeiro government.
The new Rio Dashboard and its methodology are supported by Brazil’s leading public epidemiology agency, Fiocruz.
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