With 255,368 total coronavirus infections as of Monday evening, according to Johns Hopkins University, Brazil has now leapfrogged the United Kingdom as the country with the third-highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world. However, while these numbers are already frightening, Brazil has the lowest rate of coronavirus testing out of the ten countries with the most infections, suggesting the actual total may be far higher.
With its massive population of almost 210 million people, it should come as no surprise that Brazil is among the worst-affected countries in absolute numbers. Indeed, Brazil’s number of cases per 1 million inhabitants is lower than that of the United Kingdom or Italy, where more overall infections have been recorded. On Friday, Brazil’s Chief of Staff Walter Souza Braga Netto attempted to cash in on this data, sharing a crudely made chart on WhatsApp highlighting that the country’s Covid-19 deaths per capita are comparatively small.
This, however, masks the inconvenient truth that Brazil’s official Covid-19 figures do not tell the full story of the virus’ spread in the country.