Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 500,000

Brazil said Saturday that more than 500,000 people in the country are confirmed to have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

The nation of 210 million people has been reporting an average of more than 2,000 daily deaths in recent days. Brazil’s reported death toll is second only to that of the U.S., where the number of lives lost has topped 600,000.

Read more: Brazil hits record 100,000 COVID-19 cases in a day

Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga confirmed that the official death toll had passed 500,000.

“I am working tirelessly to vaccinate all Brazilians in the shortest time possible and change this scenario that has plagued us for over a year,” Queiroga tweeted.

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Brazil is registering more than 70,000 confirmed coronavirus infections every day. Just 11.4 per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated, according to the government.

Read more: Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll hits 300,000 amid patchy vaccine rollout

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the coronavirus while trying to keep the economy humming. He dismissed the scourge early on as “a little flu” and has scorned masks.

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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