Numbers of the week: Jan. 16, 2021

. Jan 16, 2021
manaus inflation crisis numbers

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: chaos in Manaus, inflation rate, vaccines, Ford’s exit from Brazil, and more.

Send any suggestions to

60 premature babies being transferred from Amazonas

As Brazil undergoes a second wave of coronavirus infections, the Amazonian city of Manaus suffered another healthcare collapse. Residents struggle to find hospital beds,

and health workers in intensive care units were forced to manually ventilate patients due to a <a href="">lack of oxygen cylinders</a>. Some died of asphyxiation. On January 15, authorities decided to transfer at least 60 premature babies from Manaus to other states as a way to protect their health.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>4.52-percent inflation</h2> <p>Brazil’s benchmark <a href="">inflation</a> index rose 4.52 percent last year, the highest increase since 2016. Markets expected the rate to top the government’s 4-percent target, but believed it would not surpass 4.3 percent. The increase in living <a href="">costs</a> was mainly caused by rising prices for food products, utilities (mostly electricity), and household appliances, accounting for 84 percent of the inflation seen over 2020.</p> <p>Price hikes have been harsher on lower-income households, as products in their basic basket of necessities experienced much higher inflation than the general price index might indicate. For poor families, inflation in 2020 amounted to 6.22 percent — against 2.74 percent for richer households.&nbsp;</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/4623147"><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>Possible strike could disrupt 60 percent of cargo transportation</h2> <p>Brasília correspondent Renato Alves reports that truckers&#8217; unions <a href="">plan to stage a strike</a> on February 1. They want to put pressure on the government against the so-called “<a href="">New Sea Law</a>” (which aims at facilitating waterborne transportation) and the country’s current fuel pricing policy, and demand an increase to minimum rates for cargo transport.</p> <p>Over 60 percent of all cargo in Brazil is transported by trucks. In 2018, a nationwide truckers&#8217; strike created <a href="">fuel and food shortages</a> and caused billion-dollar losses to multiple economic sectors.</p> <div class="flourish-embed flourish-chart" data-src="visualisation/4972644"><script src=""></script></div> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1,000-plus deaths per day</h2> <p>For the fifth time this year, Brazil recorded over 1,000 new daily deaths caused by Covid-19. Still, federal regulators have failed to <a href="">clear any vaccine</a> for use in the country — though a decision on vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and China&#8217;s Sinovac Biotech could come on Sunday.</p> <p>Despite the uncertainty around regulations, Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello told 130 mayors that the federal coronavirus vaccination campaign will begin on January 20. According to the Health Ministry, doses could reach states and municipalities within four days after receiving the green light.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>1.7 million boxes of chloroquine sold</h2> <p>Sales of chloroquine nearly doubled in 2020 when compared to pre-pandemic levels. Between January and November of last year, 1.7 million boxes were sold in pharmacies across the country. The antimalarial drug has been touted by President Jair Bolsonaro and his supporters as a &#8220;<a href="">possible cure</a>&#8221; against Covid-19. But it has <a href="">no proven positive effect</a> on coronavirus patients.</p> <hr class="wp-block-separator"/> <h2>3 Ford factories close in Brazil</h2> <p>This week, the Ford Motor Company announced the <a href="">closure of its three factories in Brazil</a> this year, after the pandemic “amplified a persistent idle capacity and underperforming sales, resulting in years of significant losses.” Plants in the states of Bahia and São Paulo will be immediately shut down, with a third in Ceará following suit by Q4 2021. The move affects 5,000 workers and will disrupt a production chain that employs another 7,000.

Read the full story NOW!

Ariádne Mussato

Ariadne Mussato is a social media expert

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