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Numbers of the week: Apr. 11, 2020

. Apr 11, 2020
Covid-19 — confirmed cases and deaths, GDP drop sets a new record, workers at risk, President Bolsonaro burned out, emergency salary requests, companies forcing workers to ignore symptoms, Congress' spending cuts, and more.

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 — confirmed cases and deaths, GDP drop to set a new record, workers at risk, President Bolsonaro burned out, emergency salary requests, companies forcing workers to ignore symptoms, Congress’ spending cuts, and more. 

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19,638 cases, 1,056 deaths

The latest Covid-19

update released by the Brazilian Health Ministry on Friday evening shows that infections jumped to over 19,000, and deaths crossed the 1,000 mark. However, infectious health specialists consulted by <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> believe that due to backlogs in testing and diagnosis, the official Health Ministry numbers &#8220;show a snapshot of the situation one to two weeks ago&#8221; — the actual figures, therefore, would be much higher.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/1805062" data-url="https://flo.uri.sh/visualisation/1805062/embed"><script src="https://public.flourish.studio/resources/embed.js"></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>-6.5 percent</h2> <p>Brazil’s largest private bank Itaú Unibanco forecasts a 6.5-percent skid for <a href="https://www.infomoney.com.br/economia/para-itau-pib-do-brasil-pode-encolher-entre-05-e-64-em-2020/">Brazilian GDP</a> in 2020. If proven correct, it would be the biggest drop on record — even worse than the -4.35-percent growth rate of 1990 when Brazil faced hyperinflation. Itaú chief economist Mario Mesquita said the best-case scenario would be a drop of 0.4 percent. This scenario depends on a possible relaxation of social isolation measures by April 14.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>18 million workers at risk</h2> <p>The workers most exposed to the novel coronavirus could extend much further than healthcare professionals, according to a study by LABORe and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (and commissioned by newspaper <em>O Globo</em>). At least 18 million people — 40 percent of the country’s formal workforce — could be at risk.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>51 percent</h2> <p>A new poll by Datafolha shows that 51 percent of Brazilians believe President Jair Bolsonaro does more harm than good to the country’s ability to deal with the Covid-19 crisis. However, 59 percent of respondents are against his resignation from the job, while 37 percent want him to step down.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>22 million</h2> <p>State-owned bank Caixa informed that 22 million people have filed for the BRL 600 emergency salary for informal workers, after applications opened on April 7. The payment should begin on April 9 for those with bank accounts at Caixa or Banco do Brasil. So far, 9 million applicants do not have an account, but Caixa will wire their money to a free digital savings account.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>177 claims</h2> <p>The Federal Comptroller’s Office has received complaints about companies that have forced employees to work even while showing symptoms of Covid-19. Companies that continue to operate during the pandemic were also reported, after decisions by state governments to close all non-essential businesses. Altogether, almost 700 complaints were received between March 20 and April 2. Another 177 claims were made against hospitals by their employees.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 36 billion</h2> <p>The federal government announced that it will allow each worker to withdraw BRL 1,045 from the workers’ severance fund FGTS from June 15 onward, in a measure that may inject BRL 36 billion in Brazil’s economy.&nbsp; Roughly 60 million workers are expected to be benefitted by the measure, which the government plans on costing by extinguishing the PIS/Pasep fund and transferring its balance to the FGTS. However, individual PIS/Pasep accounts will be left untouched.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 150 million</h2> <p>The lower house will reduce its <a href="https://brazilian.report/power/2020/04/08/brazilian-judges-refusing-to-pitch-in-with-covid-19-effort/">budget by BRL 150 million</a> due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The money will be taken from expenses on airline tickets, hotel accommodation, services, hiring non-essential services, and purchases of furniture and equipment. The spending cut was announced by House Speaker Rodrigo Maia last Tuesday during a press conference</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>53 million</h2> <p>Brazil’s Health Ministry reported it has distributed 53.1 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to hospitals all over the country in the past few days and intends to acquire more PPE units soon. As <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> <a href="https://brazilian.report/tech/2020/03/31/3d-printing-initiatives-ppe-equipment-brazilian-hospitals/">published last week</a>, volunteers from all over the country are producing PPE using 3D printing techniques. According to the ministry, the following items have been delivered: 15.8 million masks; 23.9 million gloves; 12.4 million medical shoe covers and scrub caps; 742,000 aprons; 183,300 bottles of hand sanitizer.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2 million</h2> <p>Brazil’s top five banks have received over 2 million debt renegotiation demands, according to the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban). The debts amount to BRL 200 billion and are connected to all kinds of credit lines, from personal loans to mortgages and even working capital for companies, with an average grace period of two to three months.&nbsp;

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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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