Brazil’s fight against COVID-19: risk, policies, and behaviours

Blavatnik School working paper
Lorena Barberia
Rodrigo Furst
Maria Luciano
Saptarshi Majumdar
Rafael Goldszmidt


Please note this working paper is available in English (EN) and in Portuguese (PT).

As part of the Brazil COVID-19 Policy Response project and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker, this working paper updates the assessment of the risks faced by subnational units in Brazil from the spread of Covid-19.

By presenting a ‘Risk of Openness Index’ for states and capital cities, the authors introduce a new tool for decision makers to track the changing local risk of removing closure and containment policies. Using mobility data, the authors report that government response policies are still effective at influencing en-masse behaviour, but that policy fatigue appears over time.

Survey data from the second round of an original survey in nine state capitals suggests that, from July to September, poor people in Brazil had less access to testing than the rich, that more support should be given to public schools and their teachers so that they are better able to provide students with appropriate materials to study at home, and that TV public-information campaigns should more clearly articulate and reinforce the appropriate behaviours for self-isolating individuals.