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Coronavirus: Brazil overtakes Spain and Italy as new cases grow

by OtownGist

Brazil has overtaken Spain and Italy to become the country with the fourth largest number of confirmed coronavirus infections in the world.

Officials on Saturday reported 14,919 new cases in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 233,142. Only the US, Russia and the UK have higher numbers.

The daily death toll in the Latin American nation rose by 816 to 15,633 – the world’s fifth highest.

Experts warn that the real figure may be far higher due to a lack of testing.

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Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has been strongly criticised both at home and abroad for his handling of the country’s escalating coronavirus crisis.

The far-right president continues to oppose lockdown measures. He has downplayed the virus as “a little flu” and has said the spread of Covid-19 is inevitable.

Last week, Brazilian Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned after less than a month in the job. Mr Teich stepped down after he had publicly criticised a decree by Mr Bolsonaro allowing gyms and beauty parlours to reopen.

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Mr Teich’s predecessor was sacked after disagreeing with Mr Bolsonaro.

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