Brazil: Coronavirus and the media

March 19, 2020 • Ethics and Quality, Media and Politics, Recent • by

Brazilian media have been devoting particular attention to the following aspects of the coronavirus crisis:

  • There are doubts over the federal government’s ability to lead the fight against the virus and slow down its spread. Although the Ministry of Health is able to call on the advice of experts in this field, the country’s president has expressed scepticism over the seriousness of the virus. Last Sunday, he even mingled with thousands of supporters in public, despite the fact that the Ministry of Health had previously issued warnings against attending large gatherings.
  • The Brazilian economy is in danger of collapse because of reduced public resources, low GDP growth in recent years and the risk of rising unemployment due to the reduction in economic activities.
  • The Brazilian health system has little spare capacity, as hospitals and health centres have long been overstretched and there is a limited number of intensive care units.
  • Brazil’s social and environmental circumstances, with many people living in poor conditions and with high population densities in the major cities, mean that the disease has the potential to spread rapidly.

Brazilian media outlets have been expressing concern over whether the measures taken so far will be enough to flatten the contamination curve, or whether in view of the factors listed above the country will experience an exponential rate of infection along the lines of what has happened in countries such as Italy and Spain.

In addition to focusing on the above aspects of the domestic situation, the main Brazilian media outlets have also been looking at the situation in other countries.


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