The blackout of official data on Covid-19 completes a month this Monday (10), and Brazil remains unaware of the real size of the new wave of contamination caused by the ômicron variant.
On December 10, the Ministry of Health suffered a cyberattack that left the information systems for reporting cases, hospitalizations and deaths, as well as vaccination data, offline.
The darkness in the statistics comes at a critical time, when Covid cases are spreading across the country, with emergencies and health facilities crowded and many health professionals away due to the infection.
The cyber attack hit the main system of the Ministry of Health, the RDNS (National Health Data Network), which gathers all the information recorded by SUS servers.
Although the ministry claims that the information has not been lost and that the systems have already been re-established, states, municipalities and experts report instability on the platforms. There is a delay in the entry of new notifications of cases, hospitalizations and deaths. It is the municipalities that supply the platforms of the Ministry of Health with this data.
In other words, the blackout affected not only what was stored on the “mother platform” but also the origin of the data, causing a lot of information to be dammed up in health units.
And many states also use the ministry’s system to monitor the daily evolution of the pandemic in their municipalities. Only a few states, such as São Paulo, have systems that allow municipalities to supply the Ministry and the State Department of Health simultaneously.
Even in the absence of a more reliable national portrait of the situation, isolated data from some states and municipalities and from hospitals and private laboratories point to a high rate of positivity for Covid and of care for people with symptoms. But there is a lot of underreporting of cases due to the absence of mass testing in public services.
Monitoring the epidemiological scenario of the pandemic is essential for health managers to plan control strategies and the allocation of resources to fight the disease.
With the blackout, one of the tools to help public managers, the Infogripe system, which monitors data on Srag (severe acute respiratory syndrome) across the country, was interrupted.
The last time the team received the transfer of data from the ministry was in early December. Without this raw information on individual Srag cases, there is no way to pass on compiled data to municipal and state health departments and the Ministry of Health.
The data blackout has generated heated debates in the Chamber. Deputies such as Luiz Antonio Teixeira Jr. (PP-RJ), who chairs the Covid commission, argues that the ministry should have already created a parallel platform. Others raise suspicions if the blackout is the result of incompetence or a deliberate act.
The PT has already said that it wants to open a CPI (Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry) in the Chamber of Deputies to investigate this instability of the Ministry of Health’s systems. MG) and Alexandre Padilha (SP).
On Friday (7), the Ministry of Health reported that the integration of immunization systems with the RNDS has already been re-established, thus enabling the return of sending data to that network, by states, municipalities and the Federal District. And that the Department of Informatics of the SUS continues to work to restore the other platforms and integrators gradually, with a forecast of normalization this week.