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Brazilian states improve Covid-19 transparency data

. May 09, 2020
Brazilian states improve Covid-19 transparency data Image: Concept wW/Shutterstock

The latest report by think-tank Open Knowledge Brazil on how transparent states are with their Covid-19 data shows improvement from administrations. While only 36 percent of them are below “good” or “high” transparency levels — the rate reached 90 percent in their first evaluation.

Positive highlights

  • Rio Grande do Norte has jumped from the 9th the 2nd position in the transparency rankings, as it started to release microdata about Covid-19. 
  • Acre, which used to be the lowest-ranked state, created an open-source-based platform to publish data and is no longer the only state with reduced transparency levels. 

Backsliding

  • On the other hand, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, the hardest-hit states, fell by 3 points each since last week. They are no longer making sensitive data available, such as hospitals’ occupancy rates or the number of patients with pre-existing conditions. 
  • As we reported in our May 9 story, Minas Gerais — rated as highly transparent in the report — is dramatically under testing.

Federal government

  • Open Knowledge heavily criticized the Health Ministry, as it scatters the data on at least five different platforms and delaying the publication of their epidemiological bulletin. Moreover, one of the government platforms went offline from May 6 to May 7. As a result, it dropped five positions in the rankings. 
  • As our Brasília correspondent Brenno Grillo pointed out on May 7, the Health Ministry published the wrong Covid-19 numbers. While the government updated the figures moments later, it didn’t release a retraction — some news websites, such as Yahoo! Brasil, continued to display outdated figures.

While Open Knowledge’s rankings measure only state and national government performance, municipalities are also making an effort to improve transparency. For example, the city hall of São José dos Campos, in São Paulo state, has been publishing a comprehensive Covid-19 bulletin, which has been widely praised by residents on social media.  

 
Natália Scalzaretto

Natália Scalzaretto has worked for companies such as Santander Brasil and Reuters, where she covered news ranging from commodities to technology. Before joining The Brazilian Report, she worked as an editor for Trading News, the information division from the TradersClub investor community.

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