Numbers of the week: May 16, 2020

. May 16, 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 — A second Health Minister resigns, job losses, emergency salary denied to inmate families, a new budget to fight the pandemic in prisons and indigenous villages, the government’s tax revenue, a record on Enem subscriptions, new arrestments of an unfolding ventilators scheme, and more.

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Covid-19: 218,223 cases, 14,817 deaths


registered 15,305 new Covid-19 infections between Thursday and Friday along with 824 new deaths. The overall tally now stands at 218,223 infections and 14,817 deaths. And while the number of daily cases and deaths continue on a rise, Brazil has lost yet another Health minister.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/2111814" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/1921655" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>3 ministers, 1 month</h2> <p>Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned on May 15, after less than a month in office. His departure was allegedly due to divergences with President Jair Bolsonaro over social isolation and the use of antimalarial drug chloroquine on Covid-19 patients. Two independent sources have told <strong>The Brazilian Report</strong> that <a href="">Deputy Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello</a> will soon be promoted to the department&#8217;s top job. He will be the third man to head the department in just one month.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>90,000 deaths</h2> <p>Brazil could register over 90,000 Covid-19-related deaths, according to a new study by the <a href="">Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation</a> (IHME) at the University of Washington. With <a href="">86 million</a> Brazilians in the at-risk group, the study estimates that the total number of deaths in the country could range between 30,300 and 193,700, although the official prediction is that 88,305 people should die of Covid-19 by August 4.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>3 million jobs</h2> <p>The Brazilian Economy Ministry predicts a possible loss of <a href=";utm_medium=email&amp;utm_campaign=newsdiaria">3 million formal jobs </a>due to the pandemic — although unnamed government sources admit that the real number could reach as many as 5 million. This would be a significantly worse <a href="">contraction of the labor market</a> than the 2014-2016 crisis. That recession led to 2.9 million job losses. Over the two years since the end of the recession, 2018 and 2019, only 1.2 million new jobs were created.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 409 million</h2> <p>The Justice Ministry received <a href="">BRL 409 million</a> to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.<a href=""> Brazilian prisons</a> will receive an extra BRL 179.6 million to buy protective equipment, tests, and hospital supplies. <a href="">Indigenous villages</a> will get BRL 7.5 million to purchase food, hygiene supplies, and to reinforce sanitary barriers surrounding their communities.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>39,000 application for benefits</h2> <p>Over 39,000 <a href="">emergency salary</a> applications related to prison inmates and their relatives will go through additional analysis to determine eligibility, according to the Brazilian government. The Citizenship Ministry has removed prisoners and their families from the list of citizens eligible for the monthly benefit. According to federal prosecutors, the decision is not only illegal but could also jeopardize former inmates who remain on the penitentiary system’s outdated database<strong>.</strong></p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>5 people arrested for corruption</h2> <p>The Rio de Janeiro Police Department arrested a businessman on Wednesday morning for allegedly participating in a scheme to defraud a purchase of 1,000 ventilators for BRL 183.5 million. Maurício Fontoura, the owner of the company Arc Fontoura, was the <a href="">fifth person arrested</a> in connection to the <a href="">corruption scheme</a>. Former Deputy State Health Secretary Gabriell Neves, as well as his replacement, Gustavo Borges are also implicated in the scheme.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>30-percent drop in tax revenue</h2> <p>The net tax revenue of Brazil’s federal government fell 30 percent in April, according to an article by <a href="">newspaper <em>Valor</em></a>. The decrease comes as a result of the reduction in economic activity and the postponement of taxes — originally set to be paid in March and April — until August and October. The fall accompanies poor results in both the service and industrial sectors, which reported reductions of 6.9 percent and 9.1 percent in March.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>3 million-plus</h2> <p>Within a week, Brazil’s National University Entrance Exam (Enem) had more than 3 million applications. Many education organizations have been <a href="">asking the Education Ministry to postpone the exam</a>, saying the pandemic could pose a logistical problem. Education Minister Abraham Weintraub responded on <a href="">social media</a> by insisting that Enem “will happen” and that nothing will change in his department’s schedule.

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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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