Brazil sees record number of Covid-19 cases, more than 1,000 deaths in 24 hours

Covid-19 victims are buried at the Nossa Senhora de Manaus cemetery in Manaus, Brazil, on April 6, 2020.
Covid-19 victims are buried at the Nossa Senhora de Manaus cemetery in Manaus, Brazil, on April 6, 2020. © Michael Dantas, AFP

Brazil registered a new record in Covid-19 cases and more than 1,000 dead in a 24-hour period, according to official figures released on Thursday.

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The South American country has the world's second highest number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases — 438,238 — after the United States.

According to Health Ministry data, 26,417 new cases were confirmed in a 24 hour-period ending late Thursday.

In that same period Brazil experienced its third highest number of virus deaths since the start of the pandemic: 1,156, bringing the total death toll to 26,754, the sixth highest in the world.

Some experts, however, believe that the actual virus infection rate could be up to 15 times higher because there has been no widespread testing in Brazil.

The virus is spreading as federal and local authorities clash over health policies.

Most states have imposed partial lockdowns, but President Jair Bolsonaro wants them to end and for the economy to open quickly.

On Thursday, Bolsonaro signed into law 60-billion-real ($11.3 billion) of federal government aid to states and municipalities.

(AFP)

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