CON­TRA­DIC­TORY COVID-19 DATA DEEPENS CON­FU­SION

Calgary Herald - - WORLD -

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.

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