Brazil overtook Russia on Friday as the country with the second-highest number of coronavirus infections in the world after the United States, while the Americas has become a new epicenter of the pandemic.
The South American country has now registered 330,890 infections and 21,048 deaths from the new coronavirus, although experts say the subtests mean the actual numbers may be 15 times or more.
The number of deaths in Brazil increased by 1,001 in 24 hours, for the third time in four days, it exceeded 1,000.
The increase occurred while the World Health Organization declared South America “a new epicenter” of the pandemic.
“It is clear that there is concern in many of these countries, but Brazil is clearly the hardest hit at this point,” said WHO emergency director Mike Ryan.
The United States has recorded more than 1.6 million cases and nearly 96,000 deaths, according to a count by Johns Hopkins University.
Russia has registered 326,488 cases and 3,200 deaths.
The number of deaths in Brazil is currently the sixth in the world, behind the United States, Great Britain, Italy, Spain and France.
But the crisis is not expected to peak in Brazil until June.
The country of 210 million people has had a disjointed response to the pandemic.
Far-right president Jair Bolsonaro, who compared the virus to a “small flu”, condemns state and local government home maintenance measures, saying they are hurting the economy unnecessarily.