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Brazil surpasses 70,000 coronavirus deaths: official

AFP/Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Filed on July 11, 2020
Brazil, surpasses, 70,000, coronavirus, Covid-19, deaths, health ministry
Activists of the NGO Rio de Paz in protective gear dig graves on Copacabana beach to symbolise the dead from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) during a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 11, 2020.

(Reuters)

Brazil, a country of 212 million, is the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States.

Brazil surpassed 70,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the health ministry said, though the number of daily fatalities appears to be stabilising.

The ministry said there had been 45,000 new infections and 1,200 deaths over the last 24 hours, taking the totals to 1.8 million cases and 70,400 deaths.

Brazil, a country of 212 million, is the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States.

The number of deaths has doubled over the last 35 days with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states the worst hit, respectively reporting 17,400 and 11,200 deaths.

In relative terms, though, Brazil has registered 335 deaths per million inhabitants, which is less than the US with 403 or Spain's 607.

However, in some states, such as Rio de Janeiro (653), Ceara (742) and Amazonas (726), the figures are way over the national average.

In four of the last five weeks, Brazil averaged more than 1,000 deaths a day.

Critics say the government of far right President Jair Bolsonaro has failed to give a unified message on how to combat the virus, with state governors leading the response.

Bolsonaro has even gone so far as to flout containment measures such as social distancing and the wearing of face masks, and blasted governors  over lockdowns that have hurt the economy.

The 65-year-old revealed on Tuesday he had contracted the virus, but said earlier Friday he was feeling "fine."

He said he'd taken the anti-malaria medication hydroxychloroquine and that "it worked."


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