According to official data released on Thursday, the total deaths in Brazil due to the deadly COVID-19 has surged past 34,000 to become the third-highest in the world, surpassing Italy’s death toll.
In the last 24 hours, the country reported 1,473 deaths-- the highest single-day figure so far bringing its overall toll to 34,021, behind only the United States and Britain. As per the health ministry, the country has a total of 614,941 infections so far, the second highest number of cases in the world, behind the United States.
Experts fear that the total cases of the novel virus may be much higher than the number that has been officially reported due to under-testing in Brazil.
With a population of 210 million people, the country is one of the hardest-hit in the regions and is the latest epicenter in the pandemic in Latin America.
Even as cases continue to surge at a rapid pace in the South American country, President Jair Bolsonaro has criticized COVID-19 stay-at-home measures. The far-right leader has urged businesses to wage “war” on state governors who order business closures, arguing they are needlessly hurting Latin America’s biggest economy.
The highly infectious virus that first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December has so far infected more than 6 million worldwide. While China appears to have successfully flattened the infections curve, other countries are struggling to bring the number of cases down. Since December, the virus spread like wildfire across the globe.
The resulting lockdown from the global pandemic has pushed the world economy into a standstill and halted business activities across the world. The outbreak has caused immeasurable devastation to both human life and the economy.