May 15, 2020


1. Brazil has sixth highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world

Brazil currently has the sixth highest total of both confirmed cases of Covid-19 and deaths resulting from the global pandemic. The accelerated spread of the disease in the past week has put the country ahead of Germany and France. Health authorities and experienced Brazilian virologists say Brazil could register over 200,000 cases in the next few days, surpassing Italy in the number of cases registered officially. In Italy, health authorities have admitted that without mass testing and with a large number of patients dying at home, the true death toll could be much higher. The United States, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom are the countries with the largest number of confirmed cases. According to reports from federal and state Governments, eight of the ten Brazilian cities with the highest number of deaths per 100,000 inhabitants are in the state of Amazonas. ICUs in the state have almost no vacancies remaining for Covid-19 patients. The situation in São Paulo is also critical. Out of the 20 municipal hospitals, six have their ICUs filled to capacity and are no longer accepting additional patients. The São Paulo state government has said that one in five people in ICU will die from the virus

O Globo: Brasil é o sexto país em mortes e contágio pelo coronavírus
O Estado de S. Paulo: SP tem uma morte a cada cinco internações em UTI
O Estado de S.Paulo: País já tem mais de 200 mil casos de coronavírus
Folha de S.Paulo: Leia notícias sobre a pandemia em tempo real
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo
Ministério da Saúde: Site dá informações sobre o coronavírus no país

2. Minister of Health leaves the administration after less than a month

The newly appointed Minister of Health lasted less than a month in the administration. Nelson Teich left the government earlier today following a meeting with the president. Bolsonaro personally chose Teich – an oncologist – as he was more in agreement with the president’s ideas on how to fight the coronavirus pandemic than the previous minister, Luiz Henrique Mandetta. Teich maintained a low profile since he took over the ministry on April 17th. However, it quickly grew to be apparent that he had disagreements with the president. As a minister, Teich criticized the administration’s proposal of using chloroquine to treat coronavirus patients in the public health system. The minister was also against the president’s decree to classify gyms, barbershops, hairdressers and beauty parlors as essential activities, saying that this is not the time to ease social isolation measures. In a press statement, the ministry said that Teich quit. This week, Bolsonaro sent a message to government officials as he was leaving the presidential residence: he said that his ministers must be “aligned with” him.

O Estado de S. Paulo: Após choque com Bolsonaro, Teich sai
Folha de S.Paulo: Presidente desafia medidas restritivas
G1: Ministro deixa governo antes de completar um mês no cargo
Folha de S.Paulo: Teich pede demissão após ultimato sobre cloroquina 

3. Bolsonaro calls for executives to wage ‘war” on social isolation

President Jair Bolsonaro has asked executives of large companies to demand that state governors allow them to resume commercial activity. The president said executives must “act tough, as this is a serious issue, it is a war […] A man (São Paulo Governor João Doria) is deciding the future of São Paulo, deciding the future of the Brazilian economy,” he said. The video conference – organized by the Federation of Industries of the state of São Paulo – was private, but the press obtained access to the president’s statements. “We have to show ourselves, to position ourselves. We must show what the consequences will extend into the future […]. Chaos, looting, civil disobedience,” he said. The president has already signed decrees increasing the list of essential activities. In the last decree, he added gyms, barbershops, hairdressers, and beauty parlors to the list. State governors opposed the decree. The president is planning to hold a state of the union address on TV and radio on Saturday to spread a message for the country “to leave the situation in which we currently find ourselves.” 

Valor Econômico: Bolsonaro conclama ‘guerra’ com governadores
Folha de S.Paulo: ‘Tem que jogar pesado com governadores’, diz presidente

4. Disapproval rates for the government and the president increasing, according to poll

Negative opinions of the federal government and disapproval rates of President Jair Bolsonaro have increased. According to a poll by CNT/Instituto MDA published this week, 43.4% of Brazilians think Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency is bad or awful. In the last poll – published in January – 31% of people interviewed held this opinion. According to the poll, 22.9% of people think the administration is average and 32% think it is good or great. The perception of the president’s performance has also worsened: 55.4% of people are against his actions as president. In January, 47% said the same. 39.2% of people polled approve of the president’s work and 5.4% do not know or have not replied. This is the first time since the polls on the administration and Bolsonaro’s performance began that disapproval ratings exceed that of approval. People were also asked about social isolation measures. 67.3% of those polled believe everyone should follow restrictions, while 29.3% believe that social distancing should only be required for people who are part of the high-risk population.

Valor Econômico: Maioria reprova desempenho de Bolsonaro, diz pesquisa

5. Due to the pandemic, Brazil will have its smallest growth in history

This year, Brazil will register its worst growth rate since 1901. According to the Central Bank, which has consulted specialists who have studied the situation, Brazil’s GDP will shrink by 4.1% in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. If the rate follows these expectations, the country’s total wealth will increase 1.9% in ten years, well below the 16.9% seen in the “lost decade” of 1981 to 1990. Along with the drop in production from the manufacturing industry, the services sector has also been affected. According to data from the Institute for Applied Economics Research – which began its studies in 1901 – the country has faced four economic disasters, but they led to long-lasting recessions and directly affected the political environment. The most recent crisis that caused the collapse of public funds lasted from 2014 until the impeachment of former President Dilma Rousseff.

Folha de S.Paulo: Brasil terá o menor taxa de crescimento da história
Folha de S.Paulo: Indicadores de março mostram economia em queda
G1: Vendas do comércio despencam em todo o país