Brazil: Coronavirus cases pass 5M, as experts fear second wave
Confirmed cases of coronavirus in Brazil have passed five million, and experts worry the country could be facing a second wave of the outbreak even before the first has been brought under control.
Brazil’s health ministry said on Wednesday it had recorded 31,553 new cases over the previous 24 hours, bringing the overall total to 5,000,694 cases, behind the United States and India.
On Tuesday, Brazil recorded 734 new fatalities, bringing the death toll to 148,228, the ministry said.
With a death toll at 148,228, Brazil becomes second after the United States, and first in Latin America.
But health experts say the actual number of fatalities is likely to be higher.
However, President Jair Bolsonaro’s decision to oppose lockdowns and focus on the economy made him under scathing criticism.
He was also accused of downplaying the risks of the virus throughout the pandemic and ignoring expert advice on restrictive measures.
The latest rolling daily average of fatalities was 658 a day, down from 1,073 in the last week of July. The average of new cases has also dropped – down to 26,140 a day – almost half the level of late July.
Although the number of daily cases has come down, public health experts warn that people in Brazil are increasingly ignoring social-distancing restrictions which are raising the risk of a second wave.