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Brazil set to become world's second top Covid-19 hotspot

Global death toll climbs to 336,394

May 23, 2020 00:00:00

Brazil is on course to become the country with the world's second-highest number of coronavirus infections on Friday, as President Jair Bolsonaro faces intensifying pressure for his handling of the epidemic, report agencies.

At present, the US has recorded by far the highest number of Covid-19 infections worldwide, with 1.5 million reported cases and nearly 95,000 deaths.

And the global death toll from coronavirus climbed to 336,394 as of Friday night.

Russia has reported a total of 326,448 cases of the coronavirus, after suffering a record daily jump in fatalities related to the virus on Friday.

It has reported a nationwide coronavirus death toll of 3,249 since the outbreak started, although some experts have questioned its relatively low death rate.

Meanwhile, South America's largest country has recorded a total of 310,087 cases of the coronavirus, with 20,047 deaths nationwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

It comes after the country reported more than 18,500 infections in a single day on Thursday, while also suffering a record of 1,188 daily coronavirus deaths.

The speed and scale of new coronavirus cases in Brazil mean it is likely to overtake Russia when the country's health ministry updates its figures later in the day.

To be sure, the actual number of coronavirus cases in Brazil is likely to be much higher than the official tally because the country has not carried out widespread testing, the country's health ministry said on Thursday.

Health experts have suggested the true number of coronavirus cases in Brazil could be 15 times higher than the official figure. If those predictions are accurate, it would mean Brazil has roughly three times as many reported cases as the US.

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