How contagious? Conspiracies, lies and the Covid-19 ‘infodemic’

From anti-science conspiracy theories to state-sponsored disinformation, the United Nations warns that an “infodemic” of half-truths and falsehoods is undermining the effort to overcome the Covid-19 pandemic. How is social media driving anti-lockdown protests and just how much traction are they getting? François Picard and Deutsche Welle’s Melinda Crane team up for a special edition of The Debate that asks about the role of fringe groups, social media giants and populist leaders everywhere – from the US and Brazil to China. You can watch the show live from 19:15 (GMT+2).

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In This Story: Brazil

Brazil is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles)[11] and with over 211 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest country by area and the sixth most populous.

Its capital is Brasília, and its most populous city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states and the Federal District. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas, as well as the most populous Roman Catholic-majority country.

Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers (4,655 mi). It borders all other countries in South America except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent’s land area. Its Amazon basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, and extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats.

The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d’état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed.

Brazil’s current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Brazil is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country.

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  • In This Story: COVID-19

    Covid-19 is the official WHO name given to the novel coronavirus which broke out in late 2019 and began to spread in the early months of 2020.

    Symptoms of coronavirus

    The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

    • a persistent new cough (non productive, dry)
    • a high temperature (e.g. head feels warm to the touch)
    • shortness of breath (if this is abnormal for the individual, or increased)

    Latest News about Covid-19

    Below are stories from around the globe related to the 2020 outbreak of novel Coronavirus – since the WHO gave the Covid-19 naming. Most recent items are posted nearest the top.

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  • In This Story: Lockdown

    During the 2020 Covid-19 epidemic, lockdown has come to mean the practice of attempting to control transmission of the virus by means of restricting people’s movement and activities on a broad scale, usually on a national or state-wide basis.

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  • Boris Johnson warns of new national lockdown
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