When asked to compare the Coronavirus numbers of Argentina and Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro (without a party) insisted on comparing the two countries in proportion to their populations and not absolute numbers.
As of Thursday morning, Brazil had recorded 13,276 deaths from Covid-19, while the neighboring country had confirmed 344 deaths, according to data compiled by the American university Johns Hopkins.
"You just have to do the math for a million inhabitants," said the president. But even with this comparison, Brazil's coronavirus numbers look dire compared to those of Argentina.
The death rate per million inhabitants in Argentina is 7.7. In Brazil, the number is almost eight times higher: there are 63.4 deaths per 1 million inhabitants. The calculation from this index allows comparing places with different population sizes.
While the Argentine president, Alberto Fernández, decreed total quarantine in March, when there were 128 confirmed cases, and this week extended the isolation measures until at least May 24, here, Bolsonaro again criticized the restrictive measures adopted by state governors.
Fernández said in March that "Bolsonaro's statements and actions lead one to think that Brazil may enter the same spiral as Italy" and added that he is very concerned that countries "do not understand the seriousness of the problem," referring to the Brazilian ruler.
Translated by Kiratiana Freelon