Numbers of the week: Apr. 18, 2020

. Apr 18, 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 — cases and deaths in Brazil, President Bolsonaro’s false statements, the karma behind firing a Health Minister, prosecutors against Bolsonaro’s tweets, a former World War II soldier winning a new war, new medicines against the virus, and more. 

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Over 2,000 deaths 

Brazil has

recorded 33,682 total coronavirus infections — and 2,141 deaths, according to data from the Health Ministry. On Friday, <a href="">newly-appointed Health Minister Nelson Teich</a> very first day on the job, the country surpassed its previous records of daily new cases (3,657) and new deaths (217). Outgoing minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said, days before being fired, that the &#8220;worst 60 days of the pandemic&#8221; will come in the months of May and June.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/1950759" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>159 false statements</h2> <p>President Jair Bolsonaro has made at least <a href="">159 false or distorted statements</a> about the coronavirus outbreak in Brazil, according to fact-checking agency <em>Aos Fatos</em>, a partner organization of <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong>. Most of the president&#8217;s statements containing misinformation were made between March and April, amid the worsening time of the pandemic in Brazil. On top of criticizing social isolation measures — considered the best strategy against Covid-19 by nearly all mainstream experts — the president has <a href="">backed the use of unproven antimalarial drug chloroquine</a>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>4 years ago</h2> <p>Friday was the first day after President Bolsonaro had fired <a href="">Luiz Henrique Mandetta</a> as Health Minister. It was also the four-year anniversary of a <a href=";">tweet </a>of Mr. Mandetta&#8217;s, jokingly celebrating the ousting of former President Dilma Rousseff in 2016. Netizens mocked Mr. Mandetta, using the same words he had used for Ms. Rousseff: &#8220;Bye, honey!&#8221;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>30 percent</h2> <p>With Brazil&#8217;s benchmark stock index Ibovespa falling by over 25 percent since the beginning of the crisis, many autonomous investors relying on commissions are experiencing a drop in profit. As their clients invest less, it is expected that their monthly income could decrease by up to 30 percent, as <a href="">reported</a> by business publication <em>Valor Investe</em>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>94-percent efficacy</h2> <p>Brazil’s Science and Technology Minister Marcos Pontes announced that the country will begin tests using a drug that showed a reported &#8220;94-percent effectiveness rate&#8221; against Covid-19 during in vitro tests. Claiming that they intend to avoid the public making runs on Brazilian pharmacies, the ministry refused to disclose the name of the medication. During the week, however, ex-Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta let slip that the drug in question was worm medication nitazoxanide.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>20 prosecutors</h2> <p>President Bolsonaro’s <a href="">official Twitter account</a> has become a matter for the courts. At least 20 prosecutors requested a state court open a civil suit to force the federal government to only share information that is in line with Health Ministry and World Health Organization guidelines — of which President Bolsonaro has been repeatedly critical. Prosecutors want Mr. Bolsonaro to post a Twitter thread — and then pin it atop his profile — including science-based health recommendations. They use some of his previous tweets as examples of the president’s “irresponsibility.”</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>99 years old war veteran, recovered from Covid-19</h2> <p>A 99-year-old former member of the Brazilian Expeditionary Force — a group of 25,700 men that <a href="">fought in Italy during World War II</a> — has recovered from Covid-19. Ernando Piveta spent eight days in Brasília’s Armed Forces Hospital and was discharged on Tuesday afternoon. According to his medical reports, doctors chose not to give the war veteran the controversial antimalarial drug chloroquine, as the medicine has proven to be risky on patients with heart conditions — which was Mr. Piveta’s case.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 4 billion lost</h2> <p>Brazilian tourism operators have lost BRL 3.9 billion between January and March, as 90 percent of trips for leisure were canceled due to the coronavirus. According to one sector representative, these losses amount to 25 percent of their entire sales revenue in 2019. Nearly all companies were affected — for one-third, cancelation rates ranged between 75 and 100 percent of trips as of March. And for 75 operators, half of the trips that were not scrapped altogether have been postponed.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>52 percent</h2> <p>Theft and robbery rates in the states of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro <a href="">fell as the states engage in social isolation</a> measures to contain the Covid-19 pandemic. Per the Institute of Public Security of Rio de Janeiro, street robberies fell 52 percent, carjackings dropped 36 percent, and cargo theft was down 46 percent in March — compared to one year ago. In São Paulo, a survey by the Public Security Secretariat showed that recorded incidents of theft, robbery, carjacking, and cargo theft between March 20 and April 7 decreased by 65%, 40%, 41.5%, and 31%, compared to the same period in 2019.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>4,000 companies </h2> <p>Over 4,000 Brazilian companies have signed a manifesto pledging to avoid firing employees for two months, in a movement that campaign organizers believe may save up to 2 million jobs. The<em> </em><a href=""><em>Não Demita</em></a> (“Don’t Fire”) initiative was created by educational group Ânima Educação on April 3, initially gathering 40 companies. Now, it has the support of major firms such as banks Itaú Unibanco and Santander Brasil, retailers Magazine Luiza and GPA, and cosmetics groups Natura and Boticário.

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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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