BRASILIA - Brazil has registered more than 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, the Health Ministry said on Thursday, underlining the tragic scale of the outbreak in the country with the world's second highest death toll, as the virus roars back to life.
Brazil registered a record 87,843 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, with 1,524 deaths, the ministry said. Since the outbreak began, nearly 8 million people have been infected, while 200,498 have died.
The 200,000-death milestone serves as a damning commentary on President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the outbreak, critics say. It comes after Christmas and New Year celebrations, when many Brazilians met friends and family, while others, including Bolsonaro, flocked to the beach.
The vacation period is expected to cause a fresh jump in cases and deaths. Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said on Thursday that the country is already in a second wave.
"In the name of President Jair Bolsonaro, the Health Ministry and all the federal government, we want to offer our solidarity to every family that lost loved ones," the ministry said in a statement. (Reporting by Ricardo Brito Editing by Brad Haynes and Rosalba O'Brien)