Foto: Marcelo Casal - Agência Brasil

About 36 million people had difficulty finding work in Brazil in May. This is what PNAD-COVID19 points out  , a survey conducted by IBGE in partnership with the Ministry of Health . The number covers both people who sought employment but did not find it, as well as those who did not even look for work because of Covid-19 or because of the lack of opportunities in the region where they lived.

Also according to the survey, 36.4% of Brazilians who were working last month had lower effective income. The difference was -18.6% between what they usually received (R $ 2,320) and that actually received in May (R $ 1,899).

Although the impact of social isolation on the economy is an expected and already identified phenomenon in several countries, caution is needed when interpreting this scenario. This is what Vilma Santana, professor at the Collective Health Institute of UFBA, assesses. “There is no need to discuss the impact of the pandemic and control measures on the economy without considering what has been gained from the lives saved, the reduction in the number of sick people and the costs of treating critically ill patients and paid leave from work. We cannot exchange deaths for jobs, ”says the teacher.

For her, it is necessary to look at the experience of other countries that faced the measures of distancing and guaranteed the control of the pandemic before the resumption of the economy. “China, for example, which has almost 1.4 billion inhabitants, was the first country to deal with the pandemic and did not reach 5,000 deaths. Meanwhile, Brazil, the United States and Sweden have erratic behavior, without consistent coordination and policy, ”he says.

Data from the platform “Lives saved in Brazil through social isolation”, created by researchers from Unicamp’s Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Scientific Computing, show that if we maintain isolation for the next two weeks (at the same level as last week), the country will save one life every 0.5 minutes. This means 6,945 lives saved between 06/26 and 07/09 only. The system is updated daily and can be accessed at this link .

Until June 25, Brazil registered 1,233,147 cases of Covid-19, with 55,054 dead and 649,908 cases of people recovered.