A patient COVID-19 in the municipal hospital Gilberto Novaes, in Manaus, Brazil.
June 8, 2020 22h13
Updated at 23h53
In Brazil, the statistics are confusing coronavirus
SÃO PAULO — Results truncated and more of late, figures are divergent: the data on deaths and cases of infection of the coronavirus are the past several days broadcast in a state of complete confusion by the brazilian government, sparking an avalanche of criticism.
On Monday evening, the government announced a total of 679 deaths and 15 654 contaminations recorded during the past 24 hours. The total amounted to 37 134 dead and 707 412 infections in Brazil, third countries, the more grief-stricken in the world and second in terms of contamination.
The ministry of Health has also announced that it would grant priority to the number of deaths attributable to the COVID-19 diagnosed on the same day. But he also assured, in response to criticism that its new platform would continue to show “how many deaths have been reported so far, as well as the date of death”.
This change of methodology is yet another twist.
Denouncing a “coup statistics”, the daily Folha de S. Paulo was accused earlier Monday in an editorial virulent the president of extreme right-wing Jair Bolsonaro of wanting to “stifle” the data of the COVID-19, “as if it could be the censor”.
In open war with the media, the head of the State has been justified without the detour of its intention to broadcast the data after the main tv news: “there will be no more subject to [the official figures] at the Jornal Nacional“, he said on Friday evening, citing the newscast of the largest audience of TV Globo.
The president Bolsonaro has continued to minimize the pandemic, calling it “a little cold” and calling for the resumption of economic activities so that the curves are on the rise, with more than 36 000 deaths.
Since a week, the official report of the ministry of Health, which was released to the public punctually at 17h at the beginning of the health crisis, it is sent to the press that around 22h.
And since last Friday, the bulletin will no longer show the total number of confirmed cases and deaths, with only the figures of the last 24 hours.
“Worthy of totalitarian regimes”
Worse yet, Carlos Wizard, head of the company is contemplated to occupy a position of high responsibility within the department, had announced Friday night at the newspaper O Globo that the official report would be revised downwards because of figures “fanciful and manipulated”.
A statement that has outraged the regional health authorities responsible for compiling the data, which blasted “an attempt by an authoritarian, inhumane and unethical to make invisible the dead of the coronavirus”.
Mr. Wizard was denied Saturday any intention to revise the figures already announced, and finished up Sunday to occupy his post in the ministry, after calls on the Internet for a boycott of his businesses.
“The manipulation of statistics is a manoeuvre worthy of totalitarian regimes”, was launched Saturday on Twitter the supreme Court judge Gilmar Mendes.
“This match is not going to insulate [the government] of the responsibility of a potential genocide”, has he added, accompanying his message of the keywords #CensuraNao (non-censorship), and #DitaduraNuncaMais (no more dictatorship).
Sunday night, a first balance sheet of the government sent to the press was state of 1382 deaths in 24 hours, but another one released shortly after showed that 525 people dead.
The ministry of Health has not provided an explanation as Monday mid-day, to justify this important difference by an error of input of new deaths registered by the State of Roraima.
“The confusion deliberate data […] is a lack of respect of the citizens and also reveals the character of an authoritarian government”, said Monday the editor of the daily O Globo Miriam Leitão, calling it “a crime” any manipulation of official figures.
“From the point of view of health, it is a tragedy that we are witnessing […] Do not inform, means that the State is more harmful than the virus”, was launched by the former minister of Health, Mr. Bolsonaro, Luiz Henrique Mandetta. He was sacked in April after expressing his disagreement with the latter on the fight against the pandemic.
For several weeks, the ministry of Health presented on its official website, the balance sheet on a daily basis with a graphic specious: big characters for the figures of the people restored, and characters are much smaller to that of the dead.
“This is tantamount to creating a parallel reality, as if the company of the Titanic said: “We have saved so many people”,” said to the AFP, Thomas Traumann, former secretary of communication of the left-wing government of Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016).