Covid: Brazil’s coronavirus cases pass five million

Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil have passed five million, with deaths in the country approaching 150,000, officials say.

Brazil’s health ministry reported 31,553 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the total infections to 5,000,694.

The country is the third worst hit for infections, after the US and India.

President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of downplaying the risks of the virus throughout the pandemic, ignoring expert advice on restrictive measures.

Graph showing cases in the US, India and Brazil

Mr Bolsonaro has rejected criticism of his handling of the pandemic, but his decision to oppose lockdowns and focus on the economy has been hugely divisive.

On Tuesday, Brazil recorded 734 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 148,228, the ministry said.

Grpah with cases and deaths in BRazil

Brazil has the highest number of deaths in Latin America.

The state of São Paulo has been the worst hit, with around 36,000 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro, with about 19,000.

In August, Brazil’s Vice-President Hamilton Mourão defended the government’s handling of the pandemic, instead blaming a lack of discipline among Brazilians for the failure to limit the spread of Covid-19 through social distancing measures.

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