In São Paulo, Brazil’s city with largest number of cases, blacks have a 62% more risk of dying from Covid-19 than whites

A Franciscan friar with people lined up to receive food donations during coronavirus pandemic in São Paulo
A Franciscan friar with people lined up to receive food donations during coronavirus pandemic in São Paulo
A Franciscan friar with people lined up to receive food donations during coronavirus pandemic in São Paulo

Note from BW of Brazil: When the numbers and news about Covid-19 started come out in the US according to the race of the victims, it was definitely a concern. Obviously, one of the main questions about the data was why it was that the virus was taking a stronger toll on its black victims. Needless to say, this has been a startling, but intriguing turn of events considering that when the virus first started to spread, it was speculated that black people, specifically those on the African continent, seemed to be immune to the virus. As we now know, with the spread of the virus in Africa, not only is that not true, but the news would seem to warrant that the health care community begin to take extra precautions and treatment when dealing with specifically black regions of the United States. 

In Brazil, initially, it didn’t seem that Covid-19 would have such a devastating effect on the black population. But then, as agencies, hospitals, etc. began collecting data on the race of patients, we began to see a similar pattern developing in Brazil. The mega-city São Paulo is far and away the leader in the total numbers of deaths in the country reportedly caused by coronavirus. According to the latest data, Brazil is nearing the 205 thousand case mark with 14,000 deaths. In São Paulo, there have been about 58,250 cases and 4,500 deaths, while the corresponding numbers in Rio de Janeiro are 20,000 and 2,400.

In terms of the racial breakdown of coronavirus cases and deaths, it should be pointed out that, overall, white deaths are seven times higher than blacks in absolute numbers, but then, as whites (brancos) make up 63.91% of the metropolitan São Paulo region and pretos (blacks) make up only 5.52%, whites actually outnumber blacks 11.5 to 1. Pardos, or browns, make up 29.11% of São Paulo’s population, being outnumbered by whites 2.2 to 1. 

When we look at the numbers, what we see is that in São Paulo, brancos represent 66% of the deaths, pardos 22.2% and pretos 8.7%. In other words, both pretos and brancos represent higher percentages of death reportedly from Covid-19 than their representation in São Paulo’s population. Where the difference comes in is in the number of deaths by race per 100,000 inhabitants, where pardos have a 23% higher death rate than brancos and pretos a 62% higher rate. The question remains: why?

(E) mort. race color SP

In São Paulo, blacks have 62% more risk of dying from Covid-19 than whites

Courtesy of Alma Preta

In the city of São Paulo (SP), pessoas pretas (black people) have 62% more risk of dying from Covid-19, the new coronavirus, than white people. Among pardas (browns), lethality is 23% higher than whites. This is what the Epidemiological Bulletin of the Municipal Health Department reveals, released on Tuesday, April 28.

Although lethality, that is, the number of deaths and the total number of patients, is higher among the black population, brancas (white people) leads the number of deaths (1,244), followed by brown (418), black (165) Asian (54) and indigenous (2). The most recent numbers with the race/color variable are from April 17th. As of Tuesday (28), the city recorded a total of 15,213 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and 1,337 deaths.

In Brazil, according to data from the Ministry of Health on Sunday (26), pretos and pardos correspond to 45.2% of those killed by Covid-19. Two weeks ago, in the first study with from the racial perspective, the percentage of deaths among blacks was 32.8%. The country also reached 5,017 deaths, above the 4,643 registered in China, where the virus emerged.

Deaths are concentrated in the peripheries

The deaths by Covid-19 in the city of São Paulo until the 21st were concentrated in the peripheries. The districts with the most deaths are Brasilândia, in the North Zone, with 67 deaths. Next is Sapopemba, with 64, and São Mateus, in the East Zone, with 52.

Black (total of pretos and pardos) residents in these locations correspond to 43.4%, 32.6% and 45%, respectively, according to the demographic census of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE)

Occupation of ICU beds

The bulletin of the Municipal Health Department shows that the occupancy of beds in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) increased almost 100% with the advance of Covid-19 in São Paulo. These beds are intended for patients who have severe illness and are at greater risk of death.

There was an increase from 149 hospitalized patients on the 7th to 296 on day 23. Of these patients, 218 were intubated, breathing with the aid of devices. Still according to the department, 146 new ICU beds were created in the same period to meet demand.

In early April, Rede Nossa São Paulo released a mapping that reveals that 60% of the ICU beds in the municipality are distributed in wealthy neighborhoods and close to downtown. While more than two million people live in peripheries that have no beds.

Source: Yahoo Notícias

About Marques Travae 3476 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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