Brazil recorded a record number of fatalities in a 24 hour period as the coronavirus death toll surpassed 20,000, the nation’s health ministry said on Thursday.
The country is the epicentre of the outbreak in Latin America, and its highest one-day toll of 1,188 pushed the overall death tally to 20,047.
Brazil has now recorded more than 310,000 cases, with experts saying a lack of testing means the real figures are probably much higher.
Meanwhile, concern continues to rise about the potentially devastating impact of widespread outbreaks in the world’s poorest areas.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has reopened its Ebola-era hospital in Guinea, only four years since that epidemic ended, as coronavirus cases soar in the West African state.
The country is struggling to curb the virus, despite enacting imposing travel restrictions and a night-time curfew, raising fears about its capacity to contain a growing outbreak.
Guinea’s weak healthcare system is now straining under the pressure, with authorities having recorded some 3,000 coronavirus cases to date, and 30 fatalities.
Global infections rise sharply
The number of people infected with coronavirus around the world has passed the grim landmark of five million, with most new cases emerging in America, Russia, Brazil and India.
The World Health Organisation said on Thursday that a daily record of 106,000 new cases were reported in the previous 24 hours – two thirds coming from just those four countries.
The pandemic has officially claimed more than 330,000 lives – with more than half recorded in Europe.