By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews 

The Brazil Ministry of Health reported an additional 13,944 new cases and 844 new deaths Thursday, bringing the country totals to 202,918 cases and 13,993 deaths (a lethality rate of 6.9% ) since the first case was confirmed in the country on February 26.

Officials report that another 2,000 deaths are under investigation.

About four out of 10 cases have recovered, according to Ministry statistics.

Earlier this week, 2.1 million RT-PCR tests and 4.7 million rapid tests (serology) were distributed to states across the country. The measure is part of the Diagnose for Care strategy, a plan created by the Ministry of Health to test about 22% of the Brazilian population.

Divided into two fronts, the Confirma COVID-19 action uses the molecular biology test, RT-PCR, within seven days of the onset of symptoms, that is, when the virus is acting on the patient’s body. On that front, only people with symptoms of the disease, whether mild, moderate or severe, are tested.

The second front is “Testa Brasil”, which intends to leverage the use of rapid tests (serology) in the country to understand the progression of the virus nationally. This test identifies the body’s response to COVID-19 infection, that is, the antibody. It must be done from the eighth day onset of symptoms, long enough for the body to develop defense against the virus. People with symptoms of the disease will be tested.

People without symptoms of the disease, on the other hand, will be tested through surveys such as the Continuous National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) carried out by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in partnership with the Ministry of Health. Thus, all people interviewed for the study will be tested with the rapid test.