Brazil’s flawed Covid-19 data laid bare in growth rate study

Brazil's flawed Covid-19 data laid bare in growth rate study

A comparative analysis of Covid-19 growth rates in 44 countries has thrown up a dramatic fluctuation in the number of confirmed cases in Brazil over the last two weeks, suggesting that the Health Ministry’s official data is riddled with inconsistencies.

Professor Shamika Ravi, from the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C, compiled data from countries all over the world to track the progression of their Covid-19 curves, finding a drastic week-to-week difference in Brazil’s figures. Between April 12 and April 16, the growth rate of confirmed cases in the country fell by almost 13 percent. However, between April 17 and April 21, the drop decreased to just 2.5 percent, suggesting poor data.

As we can see from the chart below, the number of daily new cases in Brazil has varied frantically, including consistent troughs every Sunday and Monday. These trends only serve to increase the suspicion around the reliability of the Health Ministry’s data, with officials themselves conceding that the true number of Covid-19 infections is likely to be higher than what is reported.