“Imaginative or manipulated data.” Brazil, the second country most affected by Covid-19 in the world, obscures the website of the Ministry of Health with a map of the infections.
From Saturday the total data of cases and deaths is no longer provided but only the daily budget. For several days, the publication had been postponed from five in the afternoon to ten in the evening.
President Jair Bolsonaro explained that “the cumulative data does not reflect the moment in which the country is located”. “We are taking other actions to improve the communication of the number of cases and the confirmation of diagnoses,” he added. The new undersecretary to the Ministry of Health, Carlos Wizard, told the newspaper O Globe that the death toll from the pandemic will be reviewed as current data is “fanciful or manipulated”. All this while over 600,000 cases and 35,000 deaths were passed according to Johns Hopkins data.
As expected, the undersecretary’s claims sparked the wrath of local government health secretaries. “The authoritarian, insensitive, inhuman and unethical attempt to make the deaths of Covid-19 invisible will fail,” reads a note from the National Council of Health Secretaries (Conass) which brings together regional health secretaries. “His statement, devoid of any sense of ethics, humanity and respect, deserves our profound contempt, rejection and disgust,” continues the note.
In an interview with Afp, Wizard explained that the numbers will not be reviewed. «We are not interested in exhuming the dead. We don’t want to look back on the past, we are more interested in the present and the future“, he has declared. However, Wizard questioned the accounting done in the previous weeks, claiming that the media reported manipulated data.
Meanwhile, the more than 45 thousand infections in the last 24 hours, together with 1,714 deaths, prove that the coronavirus pandemic intensifies and still seeks its peak in Latin America. The infected are now 1,238,297, of which 63,909 died. After Brazil with 672,846 infected and 35,930 deaths according to Johns Hopkins, Peru (191,758 and 5,301) and Chile (127,745 and 1,541) follow. Latin American countries with more than 5,000 infections include Mexico (113,619 and 13,511), Ecuador (42,728 and 3,608), Colombia (38,027 and 1,205), Dominican Republic (19,195 and 536), Argentina (21,037 and 642), Panama (15,463 and 370), Bolivia (12,728 and 427), Guatemala (6,485 and 216) and Honduras (5,971 and 248).
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