Half of Covid-19 cases in Brazil’s poorest regions

Half of Covid-19 cases in Brazil's poorest regions (chart)
Photo: Jair Ferreira Belafacce/Shutterstock

Upon arriving in Brazil, the majority of coronavirus cases were concentrated in the heavily populated Southeast region, home to the epicenter states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. While this continues to be the area of the country with most instances of Covid-19, the chart below shows that the disease has effectively spread across the entire country, battering the poorest North and Northeast regions.

On April 11, cases in the North made up just 8 percent of the national total. One month on, that share has doubled, reaching 16.7 percent. A similar shift has been seen in the Northeast, with 18.7 percent of cases last month and 32.3 percent today. More worrying still is that these regions represent just 8.7 and 27.1 percent of Brazil’s total population, respectively, yet combine for almost one-half of the country’s Covid-19 cases.

In the Southeast, the region’s share of overall coronavirus infections fell progressively throughout April and the beginning of May. While this could be a result of the quickening Covid-19 curves in the North and Northeast, it is also worth noting that Minas Gerais — the second-most populous state in the Southeast — is simply not testing suspected coronavirus cases.