Brazil’s government announced Friday that its coronavirus outbreak has surpassed a million cases, making it second-leading nation in the world to the United States in coronavirus infection rates.
"Almost half of the cases reported were from the Americas," World Health Organization General-Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual briefing. "The world is in a new and dangerous phase ... the virus is still spreading fast, it is still deadly, and most people are still susceptible.”
The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro maintains that the repercussions from social distancing measures still outweigh the severity of the virus in the country.
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Bolsonaro has repeatedly downplayed the virus, referring to the coronavirus as a “little flu,” and told reporters earlier this month that he “regret[s] all the dead but it is everyone's destiny.”
The United States, which has a population 56 percent bigger than Brazil, has reported over 2.2 million cases.
But health experts believe that the infection rate could be as much as seven times higher in Brazil.
Johns Hopkins University has reported that Brazil is conducting 14 tests a day for every 100,000 people, but medical officials say the amount of tests is up to 20 percent less than what they should be to accurately track the virus.