Brazil Takes Down COVID-19 Data From Public View, Hides Increase In Death Toll

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Brazil Takes Down COVID-19 Data From Public View, Hides Increase In Death Toll

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The country's Health Ministry removed the data from a website that had recorded the pandemic. It also stopped giving a tally of confirmed cases.

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Brazil took down its COVID-19 data from public view on Saturday, as President Jair Bolsonaro defended delays in an official record of the world's second-largest COVID-19 outbreak.

The country's Health Ministry removed the data from a website that had recorded the pandemic. It also stopped giving a tally of confirmed cases, which has surpassed 6,92,000.

Brazil reported fresh cases and deaths from COVID-19 than any other country in four consecutive days this week.

"The cumulative data ... does not reflect the moment the country is in," Bolsonaro tweeted. "Other actions are underway to improve the reporting of cases and confirmation of diagnoses."

Bolsonaro has replaced medical experts in the Health Ministry with military officials. He also argued against lockdowns to fight the virus, disturbing the country's public health response.

The government gave no reasons for removing data on the covid.saude.gov.br website, a major public resource to track the deadly pandemic.

A daily update would "avoid undernotification and inconsistencies," Bolsonaro tweeted.

The government received a massive backlash after the page was taken down on Friday and was again reloaded with a new layout and partial data on Saturday, showing deaths, cases and recoveries only within the past 24 hours.

"Transparency of information is a powerful instrument for combating the epidemic," Paulo Jeronimo de Sousa, head of the Brazilian Press Association said, claiming that the government is "trying to silence the press at this late hour."

Also Read: Maharashtra Overtakes China In Number Of COVID-19 Cases

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