⚠️ UPDATE: Brazil reaches 23,430 Covid-19 cases; deaths rise 9 percent

Coronavirus brazil live blog

Brazil registered 23,430 confirmed Covid-19 patients as of April 13, while deaths increased 9 percent in the past 24 hours to reach 1,328, according to the most recent update by the Health Ministry. The lethality rate for Covid-19 is now 5.7 percent. São Paulo remains the most affected state, with 608 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro and Ceará, with 188 and 91 casualties each. 

The ministry has also published the death ratio per 1 million inhabitants. Among microregions, São Paulo and Fortaleza lead the ranking with 36 and 22 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, respectively.

No Mandetta

One notable absence at the Health Ministry’s daily Covid-19 update was Luiz Henrique Mandetta, the head of the department. Yesterday, he gave an interview to weekly news program “Fantástico,” in which he was deeply critical of President Jair Bolsonaro. In a 20-minute segment, he countered every Covid-19-related statement made by Mr. Bolsonaro over the Easter holiday. Mr. Mandetta advised against public gatherings inside bakeries after the president had been into one last week and attracted a media frenzy. The Health Minister also said the worst phase of the pandemic will hit Brazil in May and June, hours after the president had said the coronavirus was “about to disappear” from the country.

Last week, Mr. Mandetta was nearly fired, but the support of military officers in the cabinet kept him in a job. However, this latest act of defiance reportedly rubbed the generals — whose professional conduct is bound by hierarchy — up the wrong way.

According to executive secretary João Gabbardo, the minister had been “held up” and couldn’t make it to the press briefing on time. 


Mr. Gabbardo also added that the Health Ministry has signed a new deal to acquire 4,500 ventilators from national manufacturers, bringing the total number of new pieces of equipment up to 11,000. Beyond the latest deal, the federal revenue service claimed 13 ventilators that were to be exported, while 340 of the 540 pieces of equipment the ministry had rented were already in operation. Furthermore, up to 4,000 ventilators are expected to be fixed by industry service Senai.