Brazil stops publishing total of COVID-19 deaths and infections

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Brazil‘s government has stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections in an extraordinary move that critics call an attempt to hide the true toll of the disease. The Guardian reports that the move came after months of criticism from experts saying Brazil’s statistics are woefully deficient and in some cases manipulated, meaning it may never be possible to gain a real understanding of the depth of the pandemic in the country.

As the global tally of confirmed cases approached 6.9m, with nearly 400,000 deaths, Brazil’s last official numbers showed it had recorded more than 34,000 deaths related to the coronavirus, the third-highest number in the world, just ahead of Italy. It reported nearly 615,000 infections, putting it at the second-highest, behind the US. Brazil, with about 210m people, is the world’s seventh most populous nation.

The report says on Friday the federal health ministry took down a website that had showed daily, weekly and monthly figures on infections and deaths in Brazilian states. On Saturday the site returned but the total numbers of infections for states and the entire country were no longer there. The site was showing only the numbers for the previous 24 hours.

Full report in The Guardian

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