Brazil inches closer to 2 million coronavirus cases

Update: Brazil inches closer to 2 million coronavirus cases

For the 13th straight day, Brazil has recorded a 7-day rolling average of deaths above the 1,000 mark. That has been the case on all but three days since June 19. With 1,233 today, Brazil totaled 75,366 total deaths so far. Meanwhile, the country confirmed almost 40,000 new cases over the past 24 hours, according to the government’s latest coronavirus update. The total count is now at 1,966,748 — meaning that, should Brazil maintain the same average of new daily cases, the country will top the 2-million mark tomorrow. Brazil would be only the second country to reach that milestone, after the U.S.

Underreporting remains an issue

It is important to stress that official numbers widely underestimate the true extent of the problem. According to some estimates, the number of infections could be above 10 million already. The problem is: Brazil does not test enough — and the data we do have is unreliable, as data journalist Aline Gatto Boueri showed on The Brazilian Report.

Official data shows an exceptionally high proportion of tests coming back positive: 38 percent. That is a testament to how deficient the country has been in monitoring the spread of the virus.

Almost 2 million cases — but still reopening

Despite Brazil continuing to post high numbers of infections and deaths daily, states continue to reopen their economies. “Brazil might be the only case in which non-essential activities were resumed before infection curves went down,” criticizes Domingos Alves, head of the Health Intelligence Lab at the Ribeirão Preto Medical School.

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