From Brazil to the Philippines, secretive governments across the world are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by covering up data and bypassing public procurement rules, undermining trust in health systems, fuelling anti-vaxxers and putting immunisation campaigns at risk.

Clandestine contracts for medical goods and services have become the norm in many countries, while data on COVID-19 cases and deaths has been manipulated and underreported.

Authorities and heads of states have used the pandemic as an opportunity to gut public bodies dedicated to openness and communication, with the worst offenders forming a rogues’ gallery of coronavirus offenders.


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