881 single-day deaths, over 1.7 lakh cases: Brazil becoming new Covid-19 hotspot
Brazil reported a new record for coronavirus deaths as Latin America’s largest economy becomes the new global hotspot for the coronavirus pandemic.
The country reported 881 deaths on Tuesday, pushing the total to 12,400.
Last week, the country surpassed the UK’s daily death toll, trailing only the US in terms of recorded daily deaths.
The number of infections has more than doubled in the past two weeks to 1,77,589. Brazil has now surpassed Germany’s 1,70,508 confirmed cases and is very close to France’s tally of 1,78,225 confirmed and probable cases.
This makes Brazil the sixth most-affected country, after the United States, Britain, Italy, France and Spain.
“Certainly, the increase of cases (in Brazil) in the last several days is a case of concern,” Marcos Espinal, head of the communicable diseases department at the Pan American Health Organization, told a briefing in Washington.
Faced with overwhelmed hospitals and surging coronavirus deaths, Brazilian state and city governments are lurching forward with mandatory lockdowns against the will of President Jair Bolsonaro, who says job losses are more damaging than Covid-19.
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has drawn criticism for downplaying the pandemic, comparing the virus to a “little flu,” condemning the “hysteria” around it, and urging state and local authorities to end stay-at-home measures.
Previously, the highest one-day toll in Brazil was 751 deaths on May 8.