CONTRADICTORY COVID-19 DATA DEEPENS CONFUSION
RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO Brazil drew further criticism for its handling of the pandemic on Monday after it published contradictory figures on fatalities and infections. Initial data released on Sunday from the health ministry on the number of cases and death toll was later contradicted by numbers uploaded to the ministry’s online data portal.
On Monday, the ministry said the discrepancy was predominantly due to mistakes in the numbers from two states that were later corrected. It said the later, lower daily death toll of 525 was the correct one. The discrepancy followed recent decisions to remove from a national website a trove of data about the country’s outbreak, and to push back the daily release of new numbers late into the evening and after the country’s main television news program.
The National Council of Health Secretaries, which brings together the heads of Brazil’s state health departments and is separate from the health ministry, has created its own platform. According to the council, Brazil had recorded 680,456 cases of COVID-19 and 36,151 deaths as of Sunday.