Brazil’s government has stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections, prompting claims by experts it is an attempt to hide the true extent of the outbreak in the country.

It follows months of criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the crisis, after he dismissed the pandemic as

“a little flu”

and has refused to wear a mask or practice social distancing.

As the global total of coronavirus deaths passed 400,000 on Sunday and the number of confirmed cases 6.9 million, Brazil’s last official numbers showed it had recorded more than 34,000 fatalities related to COVID-19 and 615,000 infections – the world’s second-largest outbreak.

Brazil has the second highest number of cases in the world, behind the US

‘Gravediggers don’t stop digging’. That is the third-highest death toll in the world, just ahead of Italy and behind the US, which has the highest, and the UK.

Brazil’s health ministry took down a website that had shown daily, weekly and monthly figures on infections and deaths in each of the country’s states.

-Advertisement-