Brazil virus death toll surpasses 80,000

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 21 2020 07:31 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO - Brazil's coronavirus death toll surpassed 80,000 Monday, according to health ministry figures, as the country hit second-hardest in the world after the United States continued struggling to control the pandemic.

Recently, Brazil has regularly registered more than 1,000 new deaths a day from COVID-19 -- though the figure for Monday was lower, at 632, bringing its overall death toll to 80,120.

The South American country of 212 million people has confirmed 2.1 million infections.

Experts say under-testing means the real numbers are probably much higher.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who is infected himself, faces criticism for downplaying the virus and urging state governors to reopen their economies despite health officials' recommendations.

The far-right leader is currently in quarantine, along with several infected members of his cabinet. But he previously defied stay-at-home measures, whose economic impact he argues could be more damaging than the virus itself.

The World Health Organization said Friday the outbreak in Brazil appears to have finally reached a plateau, albeit at a high level of daily deaths and infections.

© Agence France-Presse