Article published on May 26, 2020.
Social isolation measures have irregular adherence between the neighborhoods of Salvador and vary according to the population’s living conditions. This is what a study led by researchers from the UFBA Institute of Collective Health points out, which analyzed the evolution of distance in the capital of Bahia and identified the neighborhoods with the worst and best percentages of isolation.
The work was carried out based on the Social Isolation Index, from March 23 to April 27, and relates the distribution of distance with existing social inequalities. “Given that a significant portion of the population is in a context of social vulnerability, it was also necessary to evaluate these indicators to understand the degree of adherence to social isolation”, explains Marcio Natividade, professor at ISC / UFBA and one of the study’s authors .
According to the survey, the neighborhoods with the worst levels of isolation in the period were Jardim Cajazeiras, Jardim Santo Inácio, Pau da Lima, São Marcos, Arenoso and Sussuarana, which registered, on average, 48% of isolation. Among those with the best rates of adherence to social distance measures, the researchers identified Stella Maris, Graça, Vitória, Barra, Garcia and Pituba. The average in these neighborhoods was 57%.
According to the study, no area of the municipality has yet reached the minimum isolation value recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which would be between 60% and 70%. The last data, from April 27, shows that Salvador had 50.1% of isolation. The highest percentage recorded in the capital was on April 22 (67%). In Bahia, the last index found, on April 25, showed a 51.6% isolation rate. The highest value recorded so far in the state was on March 22, when it reached 58.3%; and the lowest, on April 16 (40%).
For the researchers, several factors can interfere in the low adherence to social isolation in the peripheral areas, such as a greater need to move the population to work, the quality of housing, the prevalence of informal work and other issues related to income. “People with lower incomes, in addition to being more exposed to the financial problems caused by the covid-19 pandemic, are also more vulnerable to being affected by physical and psychological health problems associated with the seclusion required in the period of social isolation,” says the professor.
Despite the social distance in the municipality and in the neighborhoods that did not reach the desired values, he still considers the measure as one of the most important for the control and prevention of covid-19. “We understand that this is not the time for flexibility, since much still needs to be developed to guarantee a reduction in the number of cases and control of this pandemic”, he concludes.
The study information was transformed into a technical note, which can be accessed at this link. The document is signed by researchers Marcio Natividade, Kionna Bernardes, Juracy Bertoldo, Samilly Miranda, Marcos Pereira, Maria da Glória Teixeira, Humberto Livramento and Erika Aragão.