Numbers of the week: Aug. 1, 2020

. Aug 01, 2020
coronavirus gdp numbers pix mayors

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: Brazil’s Covid-19 death toll, the new BRL 200 bill, anti-fascist movements under investigation, Brazil’s lack of transparency, over 1 million jobs slashed, Covid-19 takes over the President’s inner circle, unused coronavirus tests, the growth of credit lending, and coronavirus outbreaks among troops.

Send any suggestions to

2.6 million cases, 92,475 deaths

Marching on to 100,000 Covid-19 deaths, Brazil ended this week with a total of 92,475 deaths and 2.6 million confirmed cases. In President Jair Bolsonaro’s office, it was business as usual. This week, the president mocked a Chinese vaccine being tested in São Paulo and twice greeted crowds of supporters without wearing a mask.

Keep up to date with all Covid-19-related news in Brazil with our free Live Blog.

</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>1.2 million jobs</h2> <p>According to Brazil’s General Register of Employed and Unemployed Persons (Caged), a total of 1.2 formal<a href=""> jobs were lost in the first half of 2020</a>. This is the worst result for the period in the Economy Ministry’s historical series, which began in 2010. For means of comparison, in the first six months of <a href="">2019</a>, the job balance was positive, with Brazil creating 408,000 new formal positions. Considered one of the best measures of the country’s labor market, Caged reported 6,718,276 new hires and 7,916,639 layoffs between January and the end of June.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>2nd-least transparent</h2> <p>According to international anti-corruption organization Transparency International’s <a href="">rankings</a> of emergency procurement in Brazil during the pandemic, the federal government is the second least transparent administration in the country, only outdoing the Amazonian state of Roraima. The federal government managed to gain only 49.3 points out of a possible 100, while Roraima managed a measly 40.5 points. According to the organization, the principal information portal for the federal government shows very few details about emergency contracts and doesn’t have any open data, considered crucial for transparency.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>6 cabinet members and the First Lady infected</h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s Federal Controller General Wagner Rosário became the sixth member of Jair Bolsonaro&#8217;s cabinet to test positive for Covid-19, as his department announced on Friday afternoon. Before Mr. Rosário, other cabinet coronavirus patients include Marcos Pontes (Science and Technology), Augusto Heleno (Institutional Security), Bento Albuquerque (Mines and Energy), Onyx Lorenzoni (Citizenship), and recently appointed Milton Ribeiro (Education). President Bolsonaro and his wife First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro have also tested positive. The former claims he has now recovered.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>9.8 million unused coronavirus tests</h2> <p>Almost six months after declaring a <a href="">state of emergency</a> due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Brazilian Health Ministry still has a stockpile of 9.8 million unused Covid-19 tests. That is almost twice as many tests delivered by the federal government to states and municipalities, according to internal documents <a href=",ministerio-da-saude-tem-9-8-milhoes-de-testes-parados-por-falta-de-insumos,70003380685">reported</a> by newspaper O Estado de S.Paulo. This diagnostic equipment is of the <a href="">PT-PCR variety</a>, the “gold standard” for identifying Covid-19, according to the World Health Organization. The reason the testing kits cannot be used is a lack of inputs. State authorities say that distributing the kits is useless if specific reagents are not also transferred.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>One-third of troops infected</h2> <p>Four months ago, Brazil’s Defense Ministry launched Operation Covid-19, encompassing a series of actions by the Army, Navy, and Air Force. A total of 34,000 officers were involved in the operation — of which 10,517 have since contracted the coronavirus. Until July 19, 23 have died of Covid-19. According to the Defense Ministry, the number of men and women deployed for efforts to fight the pandemic surpasses the number of troops Brazil sent to <a href="">World War II</a>. The Brazilian Expeditionary Force had just over 25,000 men who fought in Northern Italy between 1944 and 1945 — 454 of them <a href="">died during the war</a>.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>New BRL 200 bill</h2> <p>The Brazilian Central Bank announced it will create a new BRL 200 bill, worth roughly USD 39, to be launched in late August. The decision comes amid a rise in the use of printed currency, despite the potential sanitary risks this may pose vis a vis Covid-19 contamination. The bank plans to request an initial budget of BRL 113.4 million from the National Monetary Council (CMN) to print the first 450 million units of the new note, totaling BRL 9 billion to be slowly introduced in the market over the remainder of 2020. <a href="">But what really changes?</a></p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>579 civil servants&nbsp;</h2> <p>Brazil&#8217;s Justice Ministry <a href="">released a secret report </a>which investigated more than 570 civil servants identified as members of the “anti-fascist movement,” highly associated with the opposition to President Bolsonaro. Brazilian prosecutors asked for more information about the report, and many civil organizations questioned the government&#8217;s moves against “people who defend democracy.” In Brazil’s main conservative wing, especially in the so-called far-right, people often equate the antifa movement to terrorism.&nbsp;</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Credit lending grew by BRL 155.28 billion</h2> <p>Credit-lending in Brazil grew by BRL 155.28 billion (USD 30.11 billion) over the first half of 2020, according to a report by the <a href="">Central Bank</a>. This increase was more than double the BRL 64.46 billion rise recorded in 2019 over the same period. The total volume of financial credit operations in 2020 reached BRL 3.624 trillion in June — its highest level since 2013.

Read the full story NOW!

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.

Our content is protected by copyright. Want to republish The Brazilian Report? Email us at