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Brazilian government under fire for stopping update reports on COVID-19

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Posted: Monday, June 8, 2020. 3:41 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The Government of Brazil is under heavy criticism following a decision by its president Jair Bolsonaro, to discontinue issuing routine updates on new COVID-19 cases and COVID-19-related deaths, as well as clearing all data from the government’s national website, reports The Guardian.

Medical professionals have all condemned Bolsonaro’s decision, stressing that not reporting the data will hinder the national response to the pandemic and cause even more infections and deaths.
Meanwhile, Federal prosecutors have announced an investigation into the decision to discontinue reporting and have given the country’s interim health minister until Tuesday to explain why the decision was taken; a move done by using both the Brazilian constitution and its Freedom of Information law.

The Guardian notes that Brazil currently has no official health minister, and the interim health minister in place comes from a military background with no medical experience.

The move is one in a long line of decisions that Bolsonaro has made when dealing with the pandemic that has gotten widespread condemnation. At the outset of the pandemic, Bolsonaro said that there was actually no outbreak and that the media was behind the reports in an attempt to frighten people. As countries all over the world saw rising figures and began implementing lockdown measures, he continued business as usual in Brazil, even allowing a carnival to take place despite health concerns.

As of Sunday, June 7th, Brazil remained the second-most hit country by COVID-19 in the world according to Worldometer, with almost 700,000 confirmed cases and over 36,000 deaths.

 

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