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The importance of surveillance in cases and mortality from COVID-19 epidemic in Belo Horizonte, 2020


  • Paulo Roberto Lopes Corrêa Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Lenice Harumi Ishitani Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Belo Horizonte
  • Daisy Maria Xavier de Abreu Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Renato Azeredo Teixeira Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Fatima Marinho Vital Strategies
  • Elisabeth Barboza França Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais



COVID-19, Epidemiological monitoring, Evaluation of services, Epidemic


Objectives: This study aims to describe the actions carried out by the epidemiological surveillance system in Belo Horizonte to address the COVID-19 epidemic and the timeless of the data for detecting transmission in 2020.

Methods: The sources of information used by the epidemiological surveillance of the municipality for COVID-19 were identified and the temporal distribution and interval for detection of confirmed cases of the disease were analyzed.

Results: The city's epidemiological surveillance uses outpatient, hospital, public and private laboratory notifications as data sources. For reporting COVID-19 cases in official information systems, there is also an active search of laboratory results linked to suspected deaths investigated. From January to April 2020, 1,449 hospitalized cases of COVID-19 were reported, the first case being detected in late February 2020. Of the total 1,025 laboratory samples of cases hospitalized after the 8th epidemiological week, 87 (8.5%) of COVID-19 cases were confirmed. The median time between the onset of symptoms and the release of laboratory results was 12 days for the analyzed period.

Conclusion: Epidemiological surveillance uses several data sources to monitor and analyze the transmission of COVID-19. The timeliness of this system to detect cases of the disease is compromised by the delay in the release of laboratory results, which has been a considerable challenge for adequate surveillance.


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