Without fanfare or informing what reasons, the City of São Paulo changed the way in which deaths were reported by covid-19 in the city. Since last week, the management of Bruno Covas (PSDB) has been reporting deaths by the date they occurred and no longer by the day of notification of death in the system.
The new form ends up giving the false sense of stability of the pandemic, besides causing confusion in the interpretation of data. The change occurs more than four months after the first death in São Paulo.
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Experts interviewed by the newspaper El Pais criticized the change in the release of death data. According to them, the new methodology no longer allows to say whether or not there was a record of notification in the last 24 hours.
“This new methodology can lead to misinterpretations about new deaths at first, since the total death curve ends up not undergoing any kind of sudden change in the last few days”, says Wallace Casaca, from the Center for Mathematical Sciences Applied to Industry (CEME) of the University of São Paulo (USP).
In a note, the Municipal Health Secretariat reported that “updating the past does not change the total number of reported deaths, it only distributes them according to the date they occurred”.
According to the El País report, the dilution of numbers retroactively meant that in the week between the 9th and 16th of July, 185 dead disappeared from the calculations of that period.