Brazil is on the verge of recording 400,000 COVID-19 fatalities this week, after the Health Ministry on Wednesday reported 3,163 new coronavirus deaths in 24 hours, bringing the official death toll to 398,185.
Brazil is quickly catching up with the world’s worst death toll in the United States, which has seen over 570,000 casualties in total but less than a thousand deaths per day in recent weeks.
Brazil’s coronavirus crisis has spiraled out of control in recent months, with unorganized restrictions on circulation and a highly contagious new virus variant driving infections.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right former army captain, has drawn harsh criticism for downplaying the dangers of the virus, shunning masks and pushing unproven remedies.
According to a report published by government biomedical institute Fiocruz last week, younger Brazilians are increasingly being affected by the coronavirus, with those in their 20s showing the greatest increase in deaths so far this year.
Brazil’s Health Ministry also registered on Wednesday 79,726 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, which now total 14,521,289.