July 3, 2020


1. Promising COVID-19 vaccines will be tested in Brazilian states  

The testing process for two promising coronavirus vaccines are making headway in Brazil. The Brazilian Federal Government has already formalized a deal involving the vaccine developed by Oxford University in partnership with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Since last week, the vaccine has been tested on Brazilians, starting with nearly 5,000 health professionals in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Bahia. Once the efficiency of the vaccine is confirmed, Brazil will receive 30.4 million doses of the product in two lots. Another vaccine under review stems from a partnership between the state government of São Paulo and the Chinese company Sinovac. The vaccine will be tested in São Paulo, the Federal District, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná and Rio Grande do Sul. The beginning of clinical trials depends on approval by the National Agency for Sanitary Surveillance. If the vaccine is proven to work, Instituto Butantan is authorized to begin producing the vaccine in Brazil.

G1: Vacina de Oxford começa a ser testada no país
O Globo: Vacina chinesa será testada em seis estados

2. In one month, number of coronavirus cases in São Paulo doubles

The number of coronavirus cases in the state of São Paulo has doubled in just one month. There was a 112% increase in June when compared to the month of May. June saw 171,682 people diagnosed with the disease. In May, this number was 81,000. On average, the state has registered 7,723 new cases a day in the month of June, while in May there were 2,613 new cases every day. The richest state in the country now has a total 280,000 people diagnosed with the disease. The mortality rate has also increased in São Paulo – half of the 14,500 deaths took place in June. Over a 30-day period, 7,148 deaths were registered at an average of 238 deaths each day and around ten people every hour. In other states, governors are unsure about easing restrictions. While some states continue to gradually reopen businesses, others are outlining new restrictions due to a continuous increase in the number of cases and deaths. Brazil has registered a 54% increase in the number of deaths due to COVID-19 from June 8th to 28th, with some regions seeing an even higher increase in lethality. In cities in the Center-West region the number of deaths increased by 191%. Brazil has registered over 60,000 deaths due to coronavirus with 1.4 million confirmed cases of the disease. 

G1: Dobra o número de mortes em São Paulo
O Estado de S. Paulo: Doria diz que SP atingiu o pico
O Globo: Mortes disparam nas cidades do Centro-Oeste
G1: Acompanhe notícias sobre a pandemia
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo

3. 49% of Brazilians who receive federal aid disapprove of Bolsonaro

A Datafolha poll reveals that approval rates for President Jair Bolsonaro’s performance during the pandemic is low among Brazilians who are receiving emergency aid. According to people interviewed who have requested and received at least one installment of the aid, 49% rated the president’s actions during the COVID-19 crisis as bad or awful. Among the people who have not requested the financial aid, 51% think similarly. Among the group of people who have received the aid, 26% believe the Bolsonaro administration is great or good, while 24% think it is average. To get a better idea of how little the aid has impacted the perception of voters, these numbers are very similar among people who have not requested the aid: 27% believe the administration is great or good and 22% believe it is average. The emergency aid – paid in three R$ 600 (USD $111.75) installments – began in April, given to informal workers, small business owners, self-employed people and people who are unemployed and have been affected by social isolation measures. On Tuesday, the Ministry of Economy announced that it will extend the length of the benefit for another two months, following a request by members of Congress. The administration wants to reduce the amount, but this reduction can be vetoed by the National Congress.

Folha de S.Paulo: Reprovação de Bolsonaro é alta entre quem recebe ajuda
Valor Econômico: Congresso se opõe a fracionamento de parcelas

4. 11.7 million people had a salary reduction or a work contract suspended

Almost 11.7 million Brazilians have had their work hours and salaries reduced or work contracts suspended during the coronavirus pandemic. According to data from the Ministry of Economy gathered through June 26th, there have been 11,698,243 deals made between companies and employees to maintain formal jobs. This represents 36% of formal workers in the Brazilian private sector. The reduction of salaries was the most utilized mechanism during negotiations, which has compounded troubles relating to the country’s job market, which has been greatly impacted by the crisis. According to official data, for the first time in history the number of people who were unemployed from March to May this year in Brazil was higher than the number of people who were employed. Less than half of the working age population (49.5%) – those above 14 years of age – had a paid occupation. In total, 7.8 million people have lost their jobs during the pandemic. According to experts, even with informal job openings and the ease of social distancing restrictions, the expectations for new job opportunities in the next few months are pessimistic.   

O Globo: 11,7 milhões já tiveram redução salarial no país
Valor Econômico: Número de desempregados supera o de empregados

5. Trade balance registers USD $23 billion surplus in the first half of the year

The Brazilian trade balance registered a USD $23 billion surplus in the first half of the year, as a result of the global economic recession. This result, however, is 10.3% lower than what was registered in the previous year and the worst result over the past five years, according to the Ministry of Economy. Exports and imports have dropped in comparison to 2019. Economy Minster Paulo Guedes says the trade balance will be key in easing this year’s drop in Gross Domestic Product. Guedes believes that food exports will drive the economy. In the first half of 2020 the agricultural sector exported nearly USD $26.2 billion, a 23.8% increase in the volume of products sent to other countries. According to the minister, even though there were decreases in sales to large economies, exports to China are steadily increasing. According to the administration, in the first six months of the year there was a 31.6% decrease in exports to the U.S. and a 10.6% drop in exports to the European Union. However, exports to China have increased by 14.9% in the same period. 

Folha de S.Paulo: Balança comercial tem superávit de US$ 23 bilhões