Crime & Justice

Brazil’s top court orders gov’t to share Covid data

Brasilia, Jun 9 (efe-epa).- Brazil’s Supreme Court has ruled that the government must publish comprehensive Covid-19 data on a daily basis and has ordered authorities to explain their decision to stop disclosing information.

Brazil had been sharing daily figures on coronavirus deaths and infections until Thursday 4 June, when President Jair Bolsnoro’s government stopped reporting the cumulative toll of the virus.

The health ministry took down the website reporting on Covid-19 statistics on Friday only for it to go back online on Saturday with all historical data deleted from the site, omitting the number of cases and fatalities to date.

In an official statement published at almost midnight on Monday, magistrate Alexandre de Moraes said that cumulative and comprehensive figures should be shared in the daily bulletins, which currently only contain statistical information from the last 24 hours.

De Moraes responded to a request from three opposition parties and said in his ruling that “the disclosure of information” is “essential within a public administration” according to the Brazilian constitution and amid the “gravity of the emergency” the country faces due to the pandemic.

Bolsonaro came under fire over the weekend from members of congress, political opposition parties and press who all spoke out against the move.

A ruling by the same office last week gave interim health minister General Eduardo Pazuello 72 hours to explain the reasons for the change in reporting.

The minister must present the administrative act that supports the controversial modification by Tuesday.

Brazilian authorities recorded 679 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 37,134, and 15,564 infections, 707,412 cases in total to date.

It was the first time in the last three days that the health ministry disclosed the consolidated figures on the number of dead and infected.

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