Brazil has record new coronavirus cases, surpasses France in deaths

's total coronavirus cases on Sunday neared 500,000 as the country reported more than 33,000 new patients over the past 24 hours. According to the Health Ministry, 956 additional deaths were reported, bringing the total fatalities to 28,834 while 33,234 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the overall count to 498,440.

Brazil reported a record 33,274 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, its health ministry said, and the death toll surpassed that of France and now ranks only below the United States, Britain and Italy.

The South American nation has now reported 498,440 confirmed cases of coronavirus since the outbreak began, a level of contagion second only to the United States.

The death toll in from COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus, increased to 28,834, with 956 new deaths in the last 24 hours, the ministry said.

Brazilian states are preparing to ease quarantine restrictions despite warnings from public health experts who say the worst is still to come.

Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the gravity of the epidemic and criticized lockdowns for paralyzing the economy and causing widespread unemployment and hardship.




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