Brazil registered 965 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, taking the total number of fatalities to 22,013, the Health Ministry said. The country now has 347,398 confirmed cases, according to the ministry.
Brazil surpassed Russia to become the nation with the second-highest number of infections, behind only the United States.
The grim milestone came as the World Health Organization (WHO) called South America “a new epicentre” of the deadly virus, with the WHO’s emergencies director, Mike Ryan, expressing most concern for Brazil.
“In a sense, South America has become a new epicentre for the disease. We have seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases,” Ryan told a virtual news conference.