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Brazil Passes 50,000 Coronavirus Deaths as Global Cases Top 9 Million

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Brazil Passes 50,000 Coronavirus Deaths as Global Cases Top 9 Million
Artists pay homage to the fatal victims of COVID-19 during the performance "Whoever left is someone's love" at Brasília's Catedral on June 15, 2020 in Brasília, Brazil. Andressa Anholete / Getty Images
Brazil officially surpassed 50,600 COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, making the South American nation the second largest coronavirus hot spot after the U.S.


Recent figures put the total number of confirmed cases at more than 1,086,990 and 50,659 deaths. The recovery rate is just above 53 percent, according to CoronaTracker. Reuters reports that officials expect the actual numbers to be much higher because of a lack of nationwide testing – typically the country has recorded more than 1,000 deaths per day but registers less over the weekend.

On Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) also announced the largest single-day increase of cases around the world, with more than 183,000 new cases of COVID-19 having been reported to the WHO in what Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described as "easily the most in a single day so far." More than 9 million cases have been reported since the health agency declared the severe respiratory disease a global pandemic in March.

"Some countries are continuing to see a rapid increase in cases and deaths. Some countries that have successfully suppressed transmission are now seeing an upswing in cases as they reopen their societies and economies," said Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Monday's press briefing.

"All countries are facing a delicate balance, between protecting their people, while minimizing the social and economic damage. It's not a choice between lives and livelihoods. Countries can do both."

The BBC reports that São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have seen the largest spikes at 12,500 and 8,800 deaths, respectively. More than 12,000 additional deaths have been reported in the northern states of Amazonas, Pará and Ceará.

A report conducted by the New York Times largely faults government responses and measures for the increase in cases. Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro previously dismissed dangers of COVID-19, calling the virus a "measly cold" and has stalled quarantine measures with unclear responses and a chaotic approach. Additionally, the Ministry of Health has not put forth a comprehensive plan and the nation has been unsuccessful in importing coronavirus tests, ventilators and other potentially lifesaving equipment.

Brazil is second in cases only to the US, which has reported more than 2.2 million – a 32,411 increase in just one day. There have been over 119,000 deaths across the nation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University of Medicine, over 9 million people have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 with more than 469,000 deaths across the globe. Experts caution that those numbers are likely to be much higher given a lack of worldwide testing, reports CBS News.

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