Brazil Reports Record Covid Cases Days After WHO Sees Plateau

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Brazil reported a record number of coronavirus infections, days after the World Health Organization said the country had reached a plateau.

The Latin American country registered 67,860 new cases on Wednesday, more than 20% above the previous record for daily infections. The number of Covid-19 cases added in the last 24 hours pushed the total to 2,227,514. Deaths rose by 1,284 to 82,771, according to the Health Ministry.

Brazil, a nation of 210 million with some states the size of France, trails only the U.S. in both case and death counts. The numbers, while still high, have stabilized in recent weeks, the WHO said Friday. It urged Brazil’s government to seize the opportunity to take control of the virus.

The country’s response -- no national guidelines, no standing health minister and a leader who has belittled the disease -- has been criticized by health experts and by the WHO itself. The outbreak, which started largely in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, has been entrenching inland and into poorer areas that lack access to basic healthcare. The Northeast now counts nearly as many cases as the Southeast, which has been the pandemic’s epicenter from the start. And richer states like Santa Catarina, which were spared early on, are being hit hard now.

The previous record was 54,771 infections reported on June 19. At the time, the Ministry said the surge in the daily number was partially caused by a technical issue in the reporting system of some states.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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