Brazil virus death toll hits 28,834, surpassing hard-hit France

BRASÍLIA (AFP) – Brazil last Saturday reached 28,834 coronavirus fatalities, authorities said, surpassing hard-hit France and becoming the country with the world’s fourth-highest death toll.

At the epicentre of South America’s coronavirus outbreak, Brazil also saw an increase of 33,274 cases in the past 24 hours – a new daily record, the Health Ministry said.

That number brings Brazil’s total caseload to 498,444, the second-highest in the world, lagging only behind the United States (US).

Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro remain the hardest-hit states in Brazil in terms of sheer numbers, while per capita rates are higher in the country’s impoverished north and northeast, where health facilities are reaching capacity.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health has indicated “there is no way to foresee” when the country’s outbreak will peak, and experts said the number of cases could be 15 times higher than the confirmed figure because there has been no widespread testing.

A man wearing a face mask sits on a boat in the port zone of the city of Breves, southwest of the Marajo Island, an island at the mouth of the Amazon River in the Brazilian state of Para. PHOTO: AFP