Coronavirus: Brazil hits one million cases

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Brazil has become the second country in the world to confirm more than one million cases of Covid-19, as the disease continues to spread.

The health ministry also posted a record number of new cases in the past 24 hours – more than 54,000.

In addition, there were more than 1,200 deaths for the fourth consecutive day, taking the total to nearly 49,000.

A lack of testing suggests the true figures are higher and experts say the outbreak is weeks away from its peak.

The new figure was revealed hours after the World Health Organization WHO warned that the pandemic was entering a “new and dangerous” phase, with its director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warning that cases were rising at the same time as people are growing weary of lockdowns and governments are seeking to restart their economies.

The situation in Latin America
Latin America is among the areas currently seeing a spike in infections. There are major outbreaks in a number of countries, including Chile and Peru, while Mexico became the seventh country to officially surpass 20,000 virus-related deaths on Friday.

But only the US has seen more infections than Brazil, where far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been heavily criticised for his response to the crisis. He has repeatedly clashed with state governors and mayors who have adopted strict restrictions to curb the spread of the virus, shutting down major cities.

Mr Bolsonaro argues that the economic impact of the measures will be much bigger than the virus itself, a position shared by many. But his overall approach to the crisis has led to the resignation of two doctors as health minister.

 

Nneka Ukachukwu

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