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Ministry of Health to restore full release of data on Covid-19

09/06/2020

Justice Alexandre de Moraes, of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), ordered the Ministry of Health to restore, in full, the daily publication of epidemiological data on the Covid-19 pandemic, including on the agency's website, under the terms presented until last Thursday (4). In granting the preliminary injunction request in the Action Against Violation of a Constitutional Fundamental Precept (ADPF) 690, the Justice highlighted that the constitutional status of publicity and transparency results in the State's obligation to provide the necessary information to society.

In the action, the Sustainability Network (Rede Sustentabilidade), the Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) and the Socialism and Freedom Party (PSOL) argue that a sequence of acts of the Federal Executive Branch restricted the advertising of data related to Covid-19, "in clear violation of fundamental precepts of the Federal Constitution. They claim that the Ministry of Health unjustifiably changed the way in which the data related to the new coronavirus were disclosed, including not presenting the data accumulated during the pandemic. Such situation, they pointed out, makes it impossible to monitor the progress of the contamination and the implementation of public health policies to control and prevent the disease.

Transparency

In his decision, the Justice recalled the gravity of the emergency caused by the pandemic, which requires the Brazilian authorities to concretely implement public health protection. He highlighted the disastrous consequences for the population if internationally recognized measures are not adopted, such as the collection, analysis, storage and dissemination of relevant epidemiological data, which should guide the planning of the Public Power and the planning of public policies, in addition to ensuring full access of the population to knowledge of the situation experienced in the country. "The Constitution of the Federative Republic of Brazil, of October 5, 1988, expressly established the principle of publicity as one of the essential vectors for the Public Administration, giving it absolute priority in administrative management and ensuring full access to information to the entire society," he said.

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