Data shortfall impairs Brazil's tracking of spreading virus

The information shortage couldn’t come at a worse time: Cases of Covid-19 appear to be surging along with a particularly strong outbreak of influenza featuring similar symptoms. The resulting confusion has prompted lines at pharmacies in search of tests and reports of long waits at health clinics. — AP

BRASILIA: As the omicron variant sends Covid-19 cases soaring across much of the globe, one of the countries most devastated by the disease since the pandemic's onset is struggling to keep track of new cases, deaths and hospitalisations.

Officials at Brazil's Health Ministry are still trying to recover from hacker attacks on its system between Dec 10 and Dec 13, and researchers say the data remains incomplete and often hard to access. States and municipalities are reporting problems uploading information to the ministry’s platforms, and web pages visible to the public have often been knocked offline.

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