Numbers of the week: Apr. 26, 2020

. Apr 26, 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: coronavirus, the number of impeachment requests pending against Bolsonaro, the rising number of graves, the risks faced by Brazil’s indigenous population from the pandemic, new massive tests in Brasilia, the new Health Minister’s first mistake, the Brazilian Real plunges even further against the U.S. Dollar, and thousands of Brazilian companies are at risk of imminent bankruptcy.

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5,514 infections in 24 hours

On Saturday, Brazil registered

5,514 new infections —&nbsp;the highest for any 24-hour period since the coronavirus reached Brazil. In a Thursday press conference, newly-appointed Health Minister Nelson Teich stated that “it remains too soon to tell if the jump in cases and deaths is directly related to an effort by states to end the backlog of tests.”</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/1950759" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1,037 deaths, not 1,307</h2> <p>Nelson Teich&#8217;s first full week as the Health Minister started off with the wrong foot. His department botched the coronavirus daily update. Instead of reporting 1,037 deaths in the state of São Paulo, the ministry registered 1,307 casualties — which would have added up to 2,845 total deaths. The real number was actually 2,575.</p> <p>According to the initial figures published by the Health Ministry, Brazil had recorded 383 deaths between Sunday and Monday — far more than any other single day since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Instead, the country had confirmed 113 Covid-19 deaths on that day.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>13,000 new graves</h2> <p>São Paulo Mayor Bruno Covas announced this week that his government will dig at least 13,000 new graves in the cemeteries of Brazil’s largest city. He also noted that the number of daily burials is set to rise from 240 to 400. However, according to Mr. Covas, “The worst is yet to come”. Last week, Mr. Covas created a “funeral committee” to avoid mass-grave burials such as the ones seen in global Covid-19 hotspots such as New York City and Guayaquil, <a href="">Ecuador</a>–– the South American country has been thrown into <a href="">chaos</a> by the pandemic.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>81,000 indigenous peoples</h2> <p>Around 8,000 indigenous people living in remote regions of Brazil could be “critically vulnerable” to Covid-19, according to a study conducted by the University of Campinas (Unicamp). Researchers say these communities are particularly susceptible to present-day diseases, as they have not developed sufficient antibodies. The mortality rate from influenza is especially high among indigenous Brazilians and the risk posed by stronger respiratory viruses, such as Covid-19, could result in entire communities being ravaged. <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> has shown that some indigenous communities <a href="">could be at risk of extinction due to the Covid-19 outbreak</a>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>24 impeachment requests</h2> <p>Former presidential candidate Ciro Gomes, from the Democratic Labor Party, issued yet another new impeachment request against President Bolsonaro. Now, House Speaker Rodrigo Maia has 24 — yes, 24 — requests sitting on his desk. That&#8217;s 12 times more than the number of Bolsonaro-sponsored bills approved by Congress over the course of the president&#8217;s 28 years as a lawmaker. Speaker Maia has so far resisted initiating impeachment proceedings during the pandemic.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>USD 1 : BRL 5.5913</h2> <p>2020 has been an annus horribilis for the Brazilian Real. On Friday, the Brazilian currency dropped to its lowest nominal rate ever against the U.S. Dollar at USD 1 : BRL 5.59. Brazil’s economic prospects could become even grimmer after Sergio Moro resigned from the Justice Ministry on Friday morning.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/2081799" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2,500 companies facing liquidation&nbsp;</h2> <p>The financial constraints caused by the Covid-19 pandemic could lead an unprecedented level of companies to the brink of bankruptcy, according to a study conducted by the consultancy firm Alvarez &amp; Marsal, as reported by the newspaper <a href=",retracao-do-pib-deve-levar-pais-a-novo-recorde-de-recuperacoes-judiciais,70003278449"><em>O Estado de S. Paulo</em></a>. The company verified a correlation between the number of requests for court-supervised recovery — companies’ final recourse before bankruptcy — and GDP performance in Brazil. The International Monetary Fund predicts a 5-percent contraction for Brazil in 2020, as a result, they estimate that more than 2,500 domestic companies could be forced to turn to the courts in order to avoid liquidation.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>100,000 rapid tests</h2> <p>Health authorities in Brasília have started to <a href="">test residents for Covid-19 in drive-thru stations</a>. The first five testing posts were placed in the central area, the Plano Piloto, and the satellite city of Águas Claras — the two most populated regions of the capital. Together they should be able to process a combined 100,000 tests. On the first day that the service was operational, many people spent hours in line waiting for their tests. The Governor of the Federal District Ibaneis Rocha said that massive testing will allow his administration to reopen Brasília’s economy. The Brasilia metropolitan region has been one of the coronavirus hot spots in Brazil.

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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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