Health Ministry brings back coronavirus death and case counts

Health Ministry brings back coronavirus death and case counts
Photo: JHU

After hiding the total tallies for Covid-19 deaths and infections since late last week, the Health Ministry was forced by the Supreme Court to put its previous dashboard in place — and release daily updates before nightly newscasts go to air. The ruling undercuts the Jair Bolsonaro administration’s strategy to conceal the true extent of the outbreak and avoid an even bigger image crisis.

According to the latest update, Brazil recorded 1,272 coronavirus deaths today — and 32,091 infections, driving the total count to 38,406 and 739,503, respectively.

Already considered to be the current epicenter of the coronavirus crisis, Brazil raised many eyebrows when the government began deliberately lowering data transparency. First, it delayed updates until late at night. Then, it only released daily death and case counts, omitting total tallies from its online dashboard.

On Monday, the World Health Organization’s Health Emergencies Program executive director, Michael Ryan, stressed it was important for Brazilians to understand where the virus is and how to manage risk, and that the WHO hoped communication would be “consistent and transparent.”

Support this coverage →Support this coverage →