UPDATE 1-Brazil says suspects hackers targeted COVID-19 data

(Adds name of health official, detail)

RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Brazil’s health ministry said on Friday that it had taken the system used to report COVID-19 case numbers and deaths offline in recent days to protect against a suspected cyber attack.

Elcio Franco, Executive Secretary for the Ministry of Health, said the ministry had blocked access to its network in order to protect the data.

The government website where Brazil publishes its daily COVID-19 reporting is now back online.

Franco said the numbers on the website may not be completely up to date, but that the ministry expected to have fixed the issue by Monday.

Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; editing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Alistair Bell