Coronavirus: Brazil Becomes Second Country To Hit One Million Cases

  • The health ministry also posted a record number of new cases in the past 24 hours – more than 54,000.
  • There were more than 1,200 deaths for the fourth consecutive day, taking the total to nearly 49,000.
Coronavirus: Brazil Becomes Second Country To Hit One Million Cases
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As the coronavirus continues to spread across the world, Brazil became the second country on Saturday to report more than one million confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Brazilian health ministry also reported the record-high number of new cases in less than a day, more than 54,000 cases.

Moreover, the country recorded more than 1,200 fatalities for the fourth consecutive day, taking the total toll to more than 49,000. Health experts have said that the outbreak peak is weeks away, and the lack of testing facilities suggests the original numbers could be much higher.

The announcement from the Brazilian health authorities came hours after the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom, warned that the coronavirus outbreak was entering a “new and dangerous” phase.

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He further added that the new cases are increasing as the governments all around the world are taking steps to reopen their countries and economies. South America is among the areas which are currently seeing a surge in new infections.

Other countries, including Peru, Chile, and Mexico are also seeing major outbreaks, while Mexico also became the seventh country to record more than 20,000 coronavirus related fatalities.

However, only the US has seen more cases than Brazil, where far-right President Bolsonaro has been heavily criticized for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. He has repeatedly clashed with state governors over imposing social distancing restrictions to curb the spread of the respiratory disease.

Bolsonaro has maintained that the economic consequences of the lockdowns will be much bigger than the disease itself. But his overall handling of the crisis has also led to the resignation of two health ministers over the mishandling of the outbreak.

As the central government imposed no lockdown or social distancing measures, the states decided to adopt their own restrictions. However, after months of lockdown, many are moving forward to ease the restrictions despite the rising number of infections.

Health experts have repeatedly asserted that the health care system will be unable to cope in some of the underdeveloped parts of the country, and the infections are also spreading fast in remote areas and indigenous communities, where access to quality health care is impossible.

At the same time, with more than millions of jobs lost and economists predicting the contraction of 6 to 8 percent this year, many in government and residents are keen to reopen their economies and businesses. Though the government has announced stimulus packages, introducing emergency payments for those affected by the outbreak, but a large portion of the population is expected to be thrown into poverty.

Brazil’s health ministry on Friday confirmed a total of 1,032,913 confirmed cases. The ministry added that the surge in infections was due, as many of the states were facing troubles with reporting data on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the US remains the worst affected country by the pandemic. According to the data compiled by John Hopkins University, the country recorded more than 2.2 million confirmed cases, with nearly 119,000 deaths as of Saturday.

In Brazil, the outbreak became a highly politicized issue. Experts have said the Bolsonaro’s refusal to follow the scientific advice, including those by the WHO, such as social distancing, is partially responsible for the severity of the outbreak.

Like his American counterpart, Bolsonaro has also supported the use of anti-malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine, a drug the WHO said does not decrease the death rate. Following the resignation of two health ministers, the government’s response is now being led by an army general, with no experience in public health.

Earlier this month, the health authorities removed the data from the government website, but the Supreme Court forced the government to reverse the decision. Amid the pandemic outbreak, Bolsonaro is also facing a political crisis as he is under investigation into the allegations of interfering in police affairs, which he categorically denies, while the country’s apex court is also carrying out separate inquiries into his allies.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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