Numbers of the week: Apr. 4, 2020

. Apr 04, 2020
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This is Brazil by the Numbers, a weekly digest of the most interesting figures tucked inside the latest news about Brazil. A selection of numbers that help explain what is going on in Brazil. This week’s topics: Covid-19 — Rise of death and confirmed cases, the effects of inequality in the favelas, emergency salaries, Bolsonaro isolated, Justice Minister Moro’s path to 2022 elections, scarce lung ventilators, the President’s popularity in a nosedive, financial help for hospitals.

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Covid-19 in Brazil: 4-percent lethality

The coronavirus

has infected at least 9,056 people in Brazil as of April 3 —&nbsp;with 359 confirmed deaths. The country has also seen its worth four-day stretch since the crisis began, with daily infections more than doubling to almost 1,200. Worldwide cases have topped 1.1 million — to a death toll of nearly 61,000 as time of publishing.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/1780478" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>92 percent of vulnerable single-parent homes</h2> <p>Without an enhanced cash-transfer program, 92 percent of Brazilian mothers in favelas <a href="">fear they will not be able to feed their children</a> within a month, according to a study by the Data Favela Institute. As the in-person economy grinds to a halt, informal workers were deprived of their revenue sources. With social distancing policies forcing workers such as maids and street vendors to stay at home without guaranteed income, 84 percent of women polled said they have already experienced a significant drop in their household revenue.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 600 per month</h2> <p>With a near three-day delay, President Jair Bolsonaro sanctioned the bill creating an emergency BRL 600 salary to informal workers (BRL 1,200 for single mothers). That&#8217;s about USD 112. However, it remains unclear when the beneficiaries will get their money. How the transfers will be made is another challenge, as millions who are entitled to the benefit do not have bank accounts. The president&#8217;s Chief of Staff, Onyx Lorenzoni, said the government will launch an app on April 7 through which citizens can claim their money.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2022 coming two years early?</h2> <p>After President Jair Bolsonaro told a radio station that his&nbsp; Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta &#8220;lacked humility,&#8221; Rosangela Moro, the wife of Justice Minister Sergio Moro, took to social media to defend the minister. She wrote on Instagram “In Mandetta we trust,” but later deleted the post. Meanwhile, self-proclaimed philosopher Olavo de Carvalho — Mr. Bolsonaro’s political guru — called for a street protest on April 5 in defiance of quarantine rules.<em> Folha de S.Paulo</em> journalist Fabio Zanini reported that the backlash on social media was intense, even among conservatives who support Mr. Bolsonaro’s defense of the military dictatorship, who began sharing the hashtag #Moro2022, in reference to the presidential election of that year. Mr. Moro is, of course, the most popular member of the administration — even more so than the president himself.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 100 million</h2> <p>The state government of São Paulo pledged to wire BRL 100 million to municipal hospitals over the next four months. The money will be used to expand public healthcare infrastructure to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, regulators will permit telemedicine for suspected Covid-19 patients in the state. São Paulo Governor João Doria also promised to implement a food-distribution network for truck drivers on state highways. Distribution will be funded by roadway administrators at fuel and weighing stations. Roughly 140,000 food kits will be delivered, including meals and snacks.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>&#8220;Bad,&#8221; or &#8220;terrible,&#8221; for 42 percent&nbsp;</h2> <p>Brokerage firm XP has <a href="">released</a> a new opinion poll, showing that Jair Bolsonaro’s coronavirus denialism is a risky political bet — not to mention the catastrophic health hazards that scientists have pointed out, time and again. The rate of voters who consider that Mr. Bolsonaro is doing a “good” or “great” job has dropped from 34 percent in February to 30 percent in March, and 28 percent in April. Those who believe the president’s performance is “bad” or “terrible” jumped from 36 to 42 percent.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/1793311" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>50 percent of ventilators in just 27 cities</h2> <p>As the coronavirus spread worsens, authorities around the world scramble to get their hands on ventilators — equipment that takes over the breathing process when lungs are no longer capable. For severe Covid-19 patients, these machines offer the best chance of survival. In Brazil, though every municipality has at least one ventilator, nearly 50 percent of all machines are located in state capitals, according to Health Ministry data.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/1779788" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2,600 research grants</h2> <p>The Education Ministry has launched an emergency program to <a href="">support scientific studies on epidemics</a>. According to the government, a BRL 200-million budget will pay for 2,600 research grants. The program will be carried out in three waves: Immediate greenlight to 900 grants for Ph.D. and masters degree studies for 36 months — to be renewed every 12 months; Next week, a further 900 grants will be released — including 30 research projects in epidemiology, immunology, microbiology, bioengineering, and bioinformatics. Each will receive BRL 345,000. The last wave will encompass 800 grants in exact sciences and health over the next few months.

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Lucas Berti

Lucas Berti covers international affairs — specialized in Latin American politics and markets. He has been published by Opera Mundi, Revista VIP, and The Intercept Brasil, among others.

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