President Jair Bolsonaro seen in Brasilia on May 13, 2020.
A national council representing Brazil’s state health secretaries, called the National Council of Health Secretaries (CONASS), announced on Sunday that it would begin releasing the most up-to-date information on Brazil’s coronavirus cases.
On June 6, Brazil’s federal government deleted months of COVID-19 data from its tracker and changed the format in which it reports on its number of coronavirus cases.
Several public health officials have since criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, accusing him of covering up and underestimating the severity of the coronavirus.
As of June 7, there are a total of 680,456 confirmed cases and 36,151 coronavirus deaths in Brazil, according to CONASS.
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In response to the Brazilian government’s decision to delete months of data from the country’s COVID-19 tracker, a national council representing state health secretaries — The National Council of Health Secretaries (CONASS) — announced that it would begin releasing the most up-to-date information on Brazil’s coronavirus cases.
On Saturday, the Brazilian health ministry’s “Coronavirus Panel” was taken offline and some information was then erased from the portal, Business Insider’s Bill Bostock previously reported.
Though the previous version of the website included total counts of coronavirus cases and deaths, the new version only includes new case numbers within the past 24 hours.
President of CONASS Alberto Beltrame explained the health agency’s decision, saying it based its performance on “the highest of public interest, respect for diversity, and democratic pluralism.”
“Our greatest value is life,” Beltrame said. “Science, truth, and accurate and timely information are guiding threads in the process of decision making in health management.”
He added that the CONASS panel would be updated daily until 6 p.m. local time.
Following the US, Brazil now has the second-most coronavirus cases and continues to record a climbing death toll.
As of June 7, CONASS reported a total of 680,456 confirmed cases and a total of 36,151 coronavirus deaths. The health agency also gave a breakdown of the total number of cases by state.
Several public health officials have criticized Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for underestimating the severity of the coronavirus, refusing to disclose accurate data, and lacking the transparency in his leadership.
“His disgusting comment, disproved by any ethical sense, humanity and or respect, warrants our contempt, repudiation, and disgust,” CONASS said in a statement to The Washington Post. “We are not merchants of death.”
Bolsonaro previously wrote on his Facebook page that the old-version data in the “Coronavirus Panel” was not representative or accurate and that Brazil would be better off with monitoring 24-hour data, Business Insider’s Bill Bostock previously reported.
Bolsonaro also fired Luiz Henrique Mandetta, his former health secretary, after the two disagreed on Mandetta’s proposal for social distancing measures and temporary closures of nonessential business.
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