Numbers of the week: Jul. 11, 2020

. Jul 11, 2020
unemployment america jobs elections coronavirus deaths fake news UN charter coronavirus deaths Health Ministry data, economic reopening ... Brazil's numbers this week

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, Latin American leaders not immune to the coronavirus, healthcare coverage, Latam airlines in hot water, vaccine trials, football coming back, Mexico-U.S. relations, and oil deals.

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70,398 deaths, 1,800,827 infections

The latest coronavirus

update by the Health Ministry shows Brazil&#8217;s coronavirus infections totaling 1,800,827 and recording 70,398 confirmed deaths in the country. Meanwhile, states continue to greenlight more non-essential activities despite warnings from the World Health Organization that the infection curve will only <a href="">peak</a> in August.</p> <p>Since the beginning of the month, Brazil has recorded almost 10,000 new deaths. Amazonas, the first state to experience a collapse of its healthcare network, remains with the most deaths per 1 million people: 750. </p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/2641109" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/2641192" data-url=""><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>BRL 7 billion in debt</h2> <p>Latam, the biggest airline in Latin America, added its Brazilian subsidiary to its May <a href="">Chapter 11 bankruptcy </a>protection filing in the U.S. Initially, the process only included operations in Chile, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and the U.S.</p> <p>In a statement, Latam Brasil claimed that its debts amount to roughly BRL 7 billion (USD 1.3 billion). Before the pandemic, Latam employed 42,000 people and operated 1,400 daily flights in 26 countries, carrying around 74 million passengers every year. In April, operations were reduced by 95 percent.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>4 Latin American leaders catch coronavirus</h2> <p>Bolivian Interim President <a href="">Jeanine Áñez</a> confirmed on Thursday that she has tested positive for Covid-19, adding her case to a list that so far includes four Latin American leaders with the virus. Besides Ms. Áñez, Brazilian President <a href="">Jair Bolsonaro</a> confirmed his diagnosis on Tuesday. Honduran leader <a href="">Juan Orlando Hernández</a> was infected last month but was considered cured after 16 days at a hospital in capital Tegucigalpa. Dominican president-elect Luis Abinader —&nbsp;who <a href="">won the election six days ago</a> — contracted the virus during the campaign, halting activities for two weeks.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>283,000 insured patients</h2> <p>More and more Brazilians have lost <a href="">private healthcare coverage</a> since the beginning of the Covid-19-related economic crisis. At a time when health insurance could be extremely valuable, the number of beneficiaries of private plans fell by 283,000 in the space of two months. The numbers are part of a report released this week by the National Agency of Supplementary Health. In May, 46,8 million Brazilians had private health plans — the lowest number in at least one year.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>9,000 volunteers</h2> <p>The National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (<a href="">Anvisa</a>) authorized the third and final round of testing of a prospective Covid-19 <a href="">vaccine</a> developed by the Chinese biological institute Sinovac Biotech. The third phase will conduct testing on 9,000 volunteers across four Brazilian states, including Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and the Federal District. São Paulo Governor João Doria said vaccines will be administered starting on July 20, beginning with active health workers that have not yet contracted coronavirus.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Football back on August 9</h2> <p>Rogério Caboclo, head of the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF), <a href="">announced</a> in an interview with newspaper O Globo that Brazilian football is set to resume activities in August. The second- and third-divisions will start on August 8, followed by the first division on August 9. The Copa do Brasil cup tournament will begin on August 26. The timetable for Brazilian football will have to be readjusted until 2022 as a result, as it will be impossible to finish the season by December. Such an alteration could see games scheduled between December 27 and January 3, a rarity in Brazilian football. </p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1st AMLO-Trump meeting</h2> <p>Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador took a commercial flight to Washington to finally meet with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump. The long-awaited encounter — which also happens to be AMLO’s first international trip as president — takes place as the U.S.–Mexico–Canada Agreement (<a href="">USMCA</a>) is set to become a reality, starting a new chapter of trade relations between the two major nations. In 2019 alone, Mexico’s trade with the U.S added up to USD 614.5 billion, a 0.48-percent increase over 2018.</p> <p>AMLO was heavily criticized for celebrating a leader who has so repeatedly pushed anti-Mexican rhetoric. <a href="">We explained why he did it</a>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>330,000 barrels a day</h2> <p>According to <a href="">Reuters</a>, Abu Dhabi’s investment fund Mubadala Investment Co. will enter into exclusive talks with Brazil&#8217;s state-owned oil company Petrobras to purchase the country’s second-largest refinery Rlam, in Bahia state. The information was confirmed by the company during the week. Rlam produces an average of 330,000 barrels a day. </p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>17.3 million not looking for work</h2> <p>According to the National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), at least 17.3 million people are not looking for a <a href="">new job</a> due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mostly out of fear of infection. The study showed, however, that these numbers are dropping progressively throughout the pandemic. Between May 3 and 9, more than 19.1 million were in that situation, almost twice as many as the figures registered by the end of June.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Inflation rises 0.26 percent </h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s benchmark inflation index rose by 0.26 percent in June, after two months of deflation. Yet, the growth was below the market consensus of a 0.3 percent increase. According to Itaú BBA economists, this timid acceleration is aligned with projections of a gradual economic recovery and shall continue in the coming months, with July’s inflation pegged at 0.53 percent. </p> <p>Markets will closely follow any developments, as Central Bank Chairman Roberto Campos Neto signaled that the monetary authority will analyze whether inflation remains well-behaved after recent cuts in the benchmark interest rate before making further moves. In the past 12 months, however, inflation is only 2.13 percent, far below the low end of the country’s inflation target, suggesting a comfortable scenario for further interest cuts.

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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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