Brazil surpasses UK to become world’s second in virus deaths
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Brazil surpasses UK to become world’s second in virus deaths

Country, whose leader has rejected COVID-19 fears, now has nearly 42,000 fatalities and 829,000 confirmed infections, with true numbers believed to be far higher

Activists from the Brazilian NGO Rio de Paz (Peace Rio), stand next to 100 mock graves on Copacabana beach symbolizing deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 11, 2020, to protest against Brazil's 'bad governance' of the pandemic (CARL DE SOUZA / AFP)
Activists from the Brazilian NGO Rio de Paz (Peace Rio), stand next to 100 mock graves on Copacabana beach symbolizing deaths from the COVID-19 coronavirus in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 11, 2020, to protest against Brazil's 'bad governance' of the pandemic (CARL DE SOUZA / AFP)

Brazil on Friday became the country with the second-highest coronavirus death toll in the world with 41,828 fatalities, surpassing Britain, according to health ministry data.

The country recorded 909 deaths in the past 24 hours. There are 828,810 confirmed infections among a population of 212 million, the ministry said.

Experts say the true number of cases could be 10 or 15 times higher in Brazil, the largest country in Latin America.

The United States has by far the highest death toll and caseload in the world.

Three and a half months after Brazil’s first virus case was detected, the outbreak is far from controlled, although some major cities like Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have moved to reopen their economies.

Costumers walk at shopping mall after it reopened, at Paulista Avenue, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on June 11, 2020 (NELSON ALMEIDA / AFP)

Sao Paulo state, with 46 million people, is by far the hardest-hit, with 10,368 deaths — about a quarter of the country’s total — and 167,900 infections.

Rio de Janeiro has seen 7,417 deaths and nearly 78,000 cases.

As of Friday, Britain had recorded 41,481 deaths from COVID-19.

The country’s President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the deadly virus as a “little flu,” and berated state officials for their virus lockdowns.

Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro stands amid supporters taking pictures with cell phones as he leaves his official residence of Alvorada palace in Brasilia, Brazil, May 25, 2020. (AP/Eraldo Peres)

In Central and South America, more than 1.5 million people have been infected — and more than 70,000 of them have died — with no signs of the disease slowing.

Worldwide, the pandemic has killed more than 422,000 people and infected more than 7.5 million.

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