Brazil nears 100,000 confirmed Covid-19 deaths

Jair Bolsonaro during an emergency aid extension ceremony in the city of Brasilia

With a population of over 211 million, Brazil is seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Latin America.

That comes five months after the first reported case in a nation of 210 million, which has not shown signs of slowing the disease. A total of 318,638 people have recovered from the disease thus far.

The non-governmental group Rio de Paz placed crosses and a thousand red balloons on the sand on the famed Copacabana beach on Saturday.

The second-hardest hit by the virus worldwide, Brazil's death toll from COVID-19 climbed to 100,477, while the tally of cases surged to over 3.01 million, including 49,970 infected in the past day, according to the Health Ministry.

"We should be living in despair, because this is a tragedy like a world war".

Two health ministers, both physicians, have resigned over differences with Bolsonaro.

Brazil's Supreme Court and Congress, institutions that have criticized Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic, respectively declared three and four days of national mourning for the 100,000 dead.

President Bolsonaro - who has called Covid-19 a "little flu" and has been criticised at home and overseas for his response to the outbreak - said he recovered from his own infection thanks to the anti-malarial drug. Earlier this week he said he was sorry for all the deaths but suggested "we should carry on with [our] lives".

The ministry said that over the last 24 hours, 1,079 deaths were reported, bringing the death toll to 99,572, and 50,230 new COVID-19 cases were registered, raising the total number of cases to 2,962,442.



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