A justice in Brazil’s top court ordered the nation’s health ministry to resume the publication of detailed reports on the local coronavirus outbreak amid accusations that President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration was trying to hide numbers.
Judge Alexandre de Moraes gave the government 48 hours to return to the format it had used up until June 4, which included both daily increases in virus cases and deaths as well as cumulative figures since the start of the outbreak. The ministry strayed away from that model on Friday, fueling accusations from medical experts, including former Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta, that it wast trying to cover up numbers.
In the decision published early on Tuesday, Moraes wrote that the gathering and publication of data were crucial to guiding public policies.
Brazil’s constitution “expressly enshrined the principle of disclosure as one of the indispensable vectors for the public sector, giving it absolute priority within administrative management and guaranteeing full access to information for the entire society,” Moraes wrote in the ruling that was published on the court’s website.
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