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Brazil surges past 70,000 virus deaths

AFP
Rio de Janeiro
Brazil surpassed 70,000 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the health ministry said, though the number of daily fatalities appears to be stabilising.
The ministry said there had been 45,000 new infections and 1,200 deaths over the last 24 hours, taking the totals to 1.8 million cases and 70,400 deaths.
Brazil, a country of 212 million, is the second worst-affected country in the world after the United States.
The number of deaths has doubled over the last 35 days with Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro states the worst hit, respectively reporting 17,400 and 11,200 deaths.
In relative terms, though, Brazil has registered 335 deaths per million inhabitants, which is less than the US with 403 or Spain’s 607.
However, in some states, such as Rio de Janeiro (653), Ceara (742) and Amazonas (726), the figures are way over the national average.
In four of the last five weeks, Brazil averaged more than 1,000 deaths a day.
Despite the outbreak showing no sign of slowing down, several states, including Rio and Sao Paulo, have started relaxing containment measures.
In Rio, bars overflowing with people and crowds crammed onto beaches have caused much concern.
“Our projections show that in this scenario, the number of cases will keep rising until October-November, with fluctuations,” Domingos Alves, Health Intelligence Laboratory coordinator at the Riberao Preto faculty of medicine in Sao Paulo, told AFP.
“It will be an effect of relaxing (confinement measures), contrary to the evidence collected by all the countries following World Health Organization recommendations.