Brazil restores publication of statistics on epidemic, which continues its deadly progression

Interim Brazilian Minister of Health Eduardo Pazuello in Brasilia on June 9.

The Brazilian government has had to settle for the sad and very embarrassing truth of the figures. On Tuesday, June 9, on the orders of justice, the health ministry finally reluctantly resumed the publication of all the data concerning the Covid-19 epidemic, which strikes the Latin American giant over and over again.

The decision follows an umpteenth controversy, which started last week. Friday, June 5, to everyone’s surprise, the Ministry of Health, which sent daily (but more and more late in the evening…) an epidemiological bulletin on the progress of the coronavirus, suddenly ceases to indicate the total number of cases and of deaths in the country, simply presenting the figures recorded the last twenty-four hours.

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In Brasilia, the outcry is general. The press denounces a “Statistical coup” and regional health authorities discuss “An authoritarian, inhuman and unethical attempt to make the coronavirus dead invisible”. “Playing with death is perverse”, reacts the president of the chamber of deputies, Rodrigo Maia, while the ex-minister of health Luiz Henrique Mandetta denounces a power “Even more harmful than the virus”. “At this level, it’s not even makeup anymore [statistique], but plastic surgery, launches the latter, who had been sacked in mid-April by Jair Bolsonaro.

Lattice rather than white coats

For his part, the head of state welcomed the operation, describing it as “Not representative” figures released daily by local health officials, which he suspects are exaggerating the severity of the crisis. But on Monday June 8, the Federal Supreme Court decided otherwise, ordering the reinstatement of the ballots in their entirety, figures “accumulated” in support. Forced and forced, the government complied, but with obvious ill will. On the official website of the Ministry of Health dedicated to Covid-19, the number of patients cured of the disease is now marked prominently, in bold and on a green background. That of deaths is more discreet, in small font and without color…

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This latest episode is first a sign of the feverishness reigning at the top of the state, while Brazil is on the way to becoming the main active focus of the coronavirus. As of Wednesday, June 10, the latter had more than 772,000 positive cases with nearly 40,000 deaths. With an average of more than 1,000 victims per day, it has become, for the past week, the first country in the world in terms of daily mortality and should shortly overtake the United Kingdom in cumulative deaths (41,128 deaths), becoming officially, behind the United States, the second country most affected in the world by Covid-19.

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