Brazil sees a record 34 918 new coronavirus cases in one day
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Rio de Janeiro - Brazil reported a record
34 918 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, the same day that one
of the senior officials leading the country's widely criticized
response to the crisis said the outbreak was under control.
Brazil, the world's No 2 coronavirus hotspot after the
United States, is fast approaching 1 million cases, although
experts say the true number is likely higher due to patchy
testing. Brazil also registered 1 282 Covid-19 deaths since its
last update on Monday, the Health Ministry said, bringing
confirmed fatalities in the country to 45 241.
Walter Braga Netto, the head of the office of the
president's chief of staff, known as Casa Civil, and one of the
top officials handling the crisis, said it was under control.
"There is a crisis, we sympathize with bereaved families,
but it is managed," said Braga Netto, who spoke during a webinar
held by the Commercial Association of Rio de Janeiro.
Braga Netto said Brazil's deaths-per-million-people figure
was better than that of Belgium, Spain, the United Kingdom,
Italy and France. As such, the Army general said he "was trying
to convey a message of optimism in the management of the
His optimism was not shared by the World Health
Organization's regional director.
Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa
Etienne said in a video briefing from Washington that Brazil is
a major concern. Latin America's largest country accounts for
about a quarter of the roughly 4 million coronavirus cases in
the Americas and nearly 25% of the deaths, she said.
"We are not seeing transmission slowing down" in Brazil,
PAHO recommends that Brazil and other regional countries
strengthen social distancing and urged that reopening of the
economy be done slowly and carefully.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has long opposed social
distancing measures, and many of the country's states are
re-opening for business even though the outbreak remains severe.