Brazil sets daily record of new coronavirus cases

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jul 23 2020 08:25 AM

BRASILIA - Brazil recorded a new daily record of coronavirus cases Wednesday with nearly 68,000 infections, a sign COVID-19 is still far from being brought under control in the hard-hit country.

The health ministry said 67,860 new infections and 1,284 deaths had been reported in the past 24 hours in Brazil, which has the second-biggest outbreak in the world, after the United States.

The South American country of 212 million people has recorded 2.2 million infections and 82,771 deaths from the new coronavirus.

It has struggled to set a strategy for responding to the pandemic.

President Jair Bolsonaro faces criticism for downplaying the virus and attacking social distancing measures adopted by state and local authorities.

The far-right leader, who has regularly flouted such measures, has been in quarantine at the presidential palace since July 7 after contracting the virus himself.

His office announced Wednesday he had again tested positive, saying he would continue his quarantine and suspend his upcoming travel plans.

Bolsonaro, 65, argues the economic fallout from stay-at-home measures could be worse than the virus itself, and is instead pushing the unproven malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as remedies, following in the footsteps of US President Donald Trump.

© Agence France-Presse