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Bolsonaro tells Brazilians to 'stop whining' as Covid-19 deaths spike
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticized social isolation measures after the country recorded more than 1,900 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours. Bolsonaro has told Brazilians to "stop whining" and asked, "You will be crying until when?" The president further called those pushing for more vaccines "idiots".

Brazil is facing its worst phase of the pandemic yet, leaving its health system in crisis, and, in response, some cities and states have imposed their own restrictions.

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Brazilian Government decides to buy Pfizer and Janssen Covid-19 vaccines
Meeting between the Brazilian Ministry of Health and Janssen
Meeting between the Brazilian Ministry of Health and Janssen Credit: Ministério da Saúde

The Brazilian Ministry of Health decided on Wednesday to sign contracts for the purchase of vaccines against Covid-19 from Pfizer and Janssen laboratories. The contracts are being drafted and must be signed by the beginning of next week, with a determination of the quantity of doses to be delivered.

The country is experiencing the most serious moment of the pandemic, with reports of collapse in the health system in different states and successive records of deaths by Covid-19, which has increased criticism of the folder for the delay in negotiations to obtain vaccines against the disease.

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Brazil records 1,726 deaths in 24 hours and breaks new pandemic record
Brazil records 1,726 deaths in 24 hours and breaks new pandemic record
Credit: Altemar Alcantara.Semcom

According to a report of the consortium of Brazilian media companies consortium released on March 2, the country recorded 1,726 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours - a record since the pandemic began - bringing the total to 257,562 deaths since its inception.

The moving average of deaths in Brazil in the last 7 days reached 1,274. The variation was 23% compared to the average 14 days ago, indicating an upward trend in deaths from the disease.

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Brazil reaches 250,000 deaths as the pace of Covid-19 deaths accelerates
Cemitery in the city of Manaus, Brazil
Cemitery in the city of Manaus, Brazil Credit: Altemar Alcantara.Semcom

According to a report of the consortium of Brazilian media companies consortium released on February 24, Brazil exceeded the mark of 250 thousand deaths due to Covid-19.

The death toll was reached amid the lack of a vaccination campaign and with new variants circulating. Experts cite the fast pace of transmission and deaths due to the lack of isolation measures and restrictions imposed by the State.

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Brazilian markets rattled by Bolsonaro's removal of Petrobras chief
Petrobras horizontal logo, international version
Petrobras horizontal logo, international version Credit: Petrobras - Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.

Brazilian markets plunged on Monday after President Jair Bolsonaro removed the head of state-controlled oil company, the latest sign that his government is rolling back market-friendly policy initiatives to shore up his sinking popularity.

Bolsonaro's decision on Friday to replace the University of Chicago-educated economist at the helm of Petroleo Brasileiro SA after a feud over fuel prices surprised even his inner political circle, according to two government officials familiar with the episode.

Bolsonaro's popularity is dropping to near record lows after a program of cash handouts expired in December, with an MDA poll published Monday showing his approval rating fell 8 percentage points to 32.9% over the past four months.

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Brazil dam collapse: Vale will pay a $7 billion compensation for 270 killed
Brazil dam collapse: Vale will pay a $7 billion compensation for 270 killed
Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

The Brumadinho dam, owned by Vale, contained waste from an iron ore mine but gave way, unleashing a sea of mud which engulfed a staff canteen, offices and farms, killing 270 people. The company will pay $7 billion to the victim's families.

After the 2019 Brumadinho disaster, Brazilian prosecutors charged 16 people, including Vale's ex-president Fabio Schvartsman, with intentional homicide and environmental offences, alleging they hid the risk of a dam collapse.

Vale said it would pay both "socio-economic" and "socio-environmental" reparations, funding projects to repair the surrounding environment, including a massive clean-up of the Paraopeba river.

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Brazil paid twice as much as EU for first AstraZeneca vaccine delivery
Brazil paid twice as much as EU for first AstraZeneca vaccine delivery
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Brazilian government will pay the Serum Institute in India more than twice as much as European Union have earmarked for AstraZeneca vaccines. In a statement at the beginning of January, Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) confirmed the negotiation and indicated that "the institute will offer the ready vaccines to the market for US$5.25 each".

In recent weeks, an alleged error by the Belgian Minister for the Budget has allowed the prices of different doses of vaccines to be revealed to the European public, with a value of US$2.16 for AstraZeneca doses.

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Rio de Janeiro mayor discards Carnival happening in July, after first postponement from February
Rio de Janeiro mayor discards Carnival happening in July, after first postponement from February
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, announced that the 2020 Carnaval would not be held in July on Thursday, as it seems the immunisation campaign against Covid-19 will be delayed in the city.

"This celebration requires a great deal of preparation on the part of public bodies and of samba associations and institutions. Something impossible to do at that moment. Thus, I would like to inform you that we will not have Carnaval in the middle of the year in 2021", said Paes.

When it deliberated on the postponement to July, the Independent League of Samba Schools (Liesa) made the parades conditional on the immunisation campaign against Covid-19.

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Brazilians celebrate arrival of Venezuelan oxygen supplies to struggling Manaus
Brazilians celebrate arrival of Venezuelan oxygen supplies to struggling Manaus
Credit: Twitter Reproduction

Venezuela had announced on January 14 that in light of the humanitarian crisis provoked by a drastic increase in Covid-19 cases in Amazonas, it would send 130,000 litres of oxygen to support the struggling public health system. In addition to the oxygen tanks, the Venezuelan government also formed a brigade with 107 Brazilian and Venezuelan doctors, graduates of the Salvador Allende Latin American School of Medicine in Caracas, to help combat the pandemic in the State.

Brazil has been one of the worst impacted countries during the pandemic, which progressive movements have largely attributed to the mismanagement of the public health crisis by the federal government under far-right Jair Bolsonaro.

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Brazil: Oxygen shortage in Manaus, largest Amazon city, forces mass patient transfer
Brazil: Oxygen shortage in Manaus, largest Amazon city, forces mass patient transfer

Dozens of Covid-19 patients in Manaus, the Amazon rainforest's biggest city, will be flown out of state as the local health system collapses, authorities announced Thursday as dwindling stocks of oxygen tanks meant some people were starting to die breathless at home.

"Due to the strong impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the consumption of oxygen in the city increased exponentially over the last few days in comparison with a volume that was already extremely high," White Martins said in an emailed statement to Associate Press.

Brazilian influencers are running a crowdfunding campaign to delivery oxygen tanks to the city.

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Brazil registers 1,283 new Covid-19 deaths, 61,966 new infections
Brazil registers 1,283 new Covid-19 deaths, 61,966 new infections
Credit: Rio da Paz

The consortium of Brazilian media companies, compiling data from state health authorities, announced Wednesday the country had 1,283 new deaths and 61,966 positive diagnoses for the new coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected to 8,257,459 since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Ford announces end of vehicle production in Brazil and closure of factories
Ford factory in Camaçari
Ford factory in Camaçari Credit: Ford Brasil

The carmaker justifies the decision to no longer manufacture cars in Brazil as part of the plan to focus on profitable products and obtain a corporate EBIT margin of 8% to generate "sustainable cash flow". These efforts have improved results over the past four quarters. Still, the continued unfavourable economic environment and the additional pressure caused by the pandemic have made it clear that much more is needed to create a sustainable and profitable future," said Lyle Watters, president of Ford South America.

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Brazil's vice president Hamilton Mourão tests positive for Covid-19
Brazil's vice president Hamilton Mourão tests positive for Covid-19
Credit: Vice-Presidência da República (VPR), Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

After having had a fever and pain in the body and head, the Brazilian Vice-President Hamilton Mourão has tested positive for Covid-19, his office confirmed on Sunday.

Mourão will "remain in isolation at the official residence of Jaburu."

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Rio de Janeiro's mayor Marcelo Crivella arrested over bribery allegations
Rio de Janeiro's mayor Marcelo Crivella arrested over bribery allegations
Credit: Palácio do Planalto / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, was arrested this morning in a joint operation by the MP-RJ (Rio de Janeiro Public Prosecutor's Office) and the Civil Police.

The action that led to Crivella's arrest is an unfolding of Operation Hades, launched in March, which investigates a supposed bribe payment scheme for the release of contracts from Rio's City Hall, called the "HQ of the Bribe".

Crivella gave a quick statement to journalists. "I was the mayor who most fought corruption in Rio de Janeiro's City Hall," he said, adding that he now expects "justice."

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Brazil to start Covid-19 vaccine rollout in February, health care workers and high-risk groups go first
Brazil to start Covid-19 vaccine rollout in February, health care workers and high-risk groups go first
Credit: Illustration for Pendect by Ashley Winkler (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Brazil's Ministry of Health has announced its national Covid-19 vaccination rollout plan on Wednesday. The country has negotiated a 300 million doses deal with "Fiocruz / AstraZeneca (100.4 million doses) and the COVAX Facility (42.9 million doses)" and will start vaccinating its people in February. Health and educational workers, the indigenous population, elderly people over 75 years old, those with pre-existing health conditions, security forces and transport officials will receive the vaccine first.

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With deaths on the rise, Jair Bolsonaro states "we are living the end of a pandemic"
Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro Credit: Alan Santos/PR

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday that the country is facing the end of the pandemic. The statement was made at a time when 22 of the 27 states face a rise in Covid-19 deaths.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 179,032 people have died due to Covid-19 in Brazil, and the country does not yet have a detailed vaccination plan against the disease.

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Brazil reports 313 new Covid-19 deaths on Sunday
Brazil reports 313 new Covid-19 deaths on Sunday
Credit: SECOM/Salvador

The Brazilian Health Ministry announced Sunday its daily Covid-19 report with 26,363 new cases and 313 deaths.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Brazil accounted for 6,603,540 infected with a death toll of 176,941.

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Brazil: São Paulo Governor announces immunizations against Covid-19 to start in January
João Doria
João Doria Credit: Governo do Estado de São Paulo (Public Domain)

The São Paulo state Governor, João Dória, announced Thursday the immunizations against Covid-19 would start in January using the Coronavac vaccine, from the Chinese company Sinovac. A day before of São Paulo's announcement the Brazilian Ministry of Health announced a country-wide immunization would start only in March.

"In São Paulo, responsibly, following the law, next January, following the protocol with Anvisa and obeying the principles of life protection, we will start immunizing Brazilians in São Paulo. We will not wait until March" said Doria.

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Brazil: Another Ministry of Health leak exposes personal data of over 200 million people
Brazil: Another Ministry of Health leak exposes personal data of over 200 million people
Credit: Christiaan Colen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

A new security breach in the Ministry of Health's covid-19 notification system left personal data of over 200 million Brazilians exposed on the internet for at least six months. It was not only patients diagnosed with Covid-19 who had their privacy violated, as occurred in another exposure case reported last week. This time, the personal information of any Brazilian registered with SUS or beneficiary of a health plan was open for consultation.

"Each time you stop and go through the Ministry of Health's information security and data management policy, you find a more serious vulnerability. At the time of our complaint, we asked for an audit and received no response. Clearly, they have not taken and are not yet taking the treatment of data from millions of Brazilians seriously," says Fernanda Campagnucci, executive director of the NGO Open Knowledge Brasil (OKBR).

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Leak exposes data from 16 million suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brazil
Leak exposes data from 16 million suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brazil
Credit: Christiaan Colen (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

A leak of a file containing access information to internal systems of the Brazilian Ministry of Health exposed data on 16 million people for almost a month.

The data includes taxpayers id and telephone numbers, address, medications and even a history of pre-existing diseases. It is noteworthy that, among the names on the leaked list, are President Jair Bolsonaro; the Minister of Health, Eduardo Pazuello; the governor of the state of São Paulo, João Dória; the Mayor, Rodrigo Maia; and the president of the Senate, Davi Alcolumbre. They have all been diagnosed with Covid-19.

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Black man dies after being beaten up in a Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, Brazil
Black man dies after being beaten up in a Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, Brazil

A 40-year-old black man died Thursday after being assaulted by a security guard and an off-duty Police officer, at the Carrefour supermarket in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Both assailants were arrested, suspected of murder.

The victim, identified as João Alberto Silveira Freitas, would have argued with the cashier of the establishment and was led by the security guard of the shop to the car park on the lower floor.

Videos showing the beating and the attempt by rescuers to save the man have been circulating on social networks since last night. The images show Freitas receiving several punches in the face from one of the men, while the other tries to hold him.

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Brazilian investigators point to coordinated hacker attacks in the latest regional elections
Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) building, in Brasilia
Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) building, in Brasilia Credit: Roberto Jayme/Ascom/TSE (Public Domain)

On Sunday, during the city elections, the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has suffered outages (DDOS attack) that delayed the votes counting procedures. An investigation from the Brazilian Federal Public Minister, together with SaferNet declared that TSE has sufferered a coordinated attack and social network campaign to promote a non-existent elections fraud.

On Sunday morning also, there was a data leak of outdated HR information collected until October 23rd.

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Brazil: São Paulo Governor announces the first batch of 120,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine for November 20
João Doria
João Doria Credit: Governo do Estado de São Paulo (Public Domain)

The governor of the Brazilian state of São Paulo, João Doria, announced Monday that the first 120,000 doses of Coronavac vaccine would arrive in the state on November 20.

Coronavac is still in the phase 3 of tests, the last one to prove its effectiveness, and its use in Brazil depends on the approval by National Sanitary Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

São Paulo expects to receive 6 million doses, out of 46 million purchased by the state, until the end of 2020. The other 40 million will be produced locally, using ingredients provided by Sinovac Biotech.

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Jair Bolsonaro loses interest in re-election after Trump's defeat
Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

Following Trump's defeat, Jair Bolsonaro broke his silence to announce that he might not run for re-election because "there is an advance from the left" in South America.

“See how the world is. In South America, there are several countries again painted in red. Many times, the President has no way to change, as I would like to happen, the destiny of Brazil. Some people want the destination to be another, and they may be right," Bolsonaro said on Facebook.

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Brazil: Mourão contradicts Bolsonaro and says the federal government will buy Chinese vaccine
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão Credit: Bruno Batista /VPR

Contradicting the President Jair Bolsonaro, Vice President Hamilton Mourão stated the country will “of course” buy a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine that is being tested in the country. In an interview to the Veja magazine, the Brazilian vice president reduced the controversy over the "Chinese vaccine" to a political fight between Bolsonaro and the governor of Sao Paulo, João Doria (PSDB).

On Wednesday, October 28, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorised the import of raw material for the Butantan Institute to produce 40 million doses of CoronaVac.

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Brazil and record fires: Bolsonaro government withdraws firefighters
Fires in the Pantanal region
Fires in the Pantanal region Credit: Sílvio de Andrade (Public Domain)

The Brazilian environmental authority IBAMA has recalled all the forces fighting forest fires and justified its drastic step with lack of money. "I am ordering the withdrawal of all forest fire brigades to their respective bases," said a letter quoted by the news portal G1.

At the end of August, IBAMA had already announced the complete cessation of fire fighting due to the blockade of financial resources.

Research by the organisation Human Rights Watch, recently showed that the environmental authority is imposing virtually no more fines on illegal loggers.

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The Brazilian Health Minister, Eduardo Pazuello, tested positive for Covid-19
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello
Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello Credit: Erasmo Salomão/MS (Public Domain)

The Brazilian Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. Pazuello becomes the 12th member of Jair Bolsonaro's cabinet to be infected with the new coronavirus.

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Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Bolsonaro announces that Brazil won't buy Covid-19 vaccine from China
Credit: Courtesy of Twitter

"We won't buy the vaccine from China," says Bolsonaro on his Facebook page on Tuesday after the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Sinovac.

The same day, earlier, the Ministry of Health had announced the purchase of 46 million doses of CoronaVac, a vaccine developed by Chinese pharmacist Sinovac. The company has an agreement with the government of São Paulo to supply the ready vaccine and also to transfer the production technology to the Butantan Institute (see details below).

"Everything will be clarified even today. We will not buy the vaccine from China", said the president.

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US government offers Brazilian telecoms financing to buy 5G equipment from Huawei rivals
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and US National Security adviser Robert O’Brien Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR (Public Domain)

The US government, via the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. EXIM bank and the National Security Council, offered financing to Brazilian telecoms to keep them from buying Huawei Technologies 5G equipment.

The Chinese Embassy in Brazil on Twitter accused the American government of seeking a networking "monopoly." Still, it said it believed most countries would remain independent and make their own decisions regarding 5G.

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Brazilian senator Chico Rodrigues is caught with cash hidden between the buttocks
Chico Rodrigues
Chico Rodrigues Credit: Agência Senado (Public Domain)

Chico Rodrigues, Jair Bolsonaro's deputy leader in the senate, was caught by the Brazilian Federal Police with R$30,000 (€4,572) concealed between his clenched buttocks. The police raid Wednesday was part of an operation against the misappropriation of public funds for fighting Covid-19.

Rodrigues, a Senator for the state of Roraima, released a statement claiming "I have a clean background and a respectable life. I’ve never been involved in any kind of scandal."