Brazil’s confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus rose on Saturday past those of Spain and Italy, which was once the epicenter of the pandemic, making Brazil’s outbreak the fourth largest in the world, according to official figures.
Brazil’s Health Ministry registered 14,919 new confirmed cases in the prior 24 hours, taking the total to 233,142, behind the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Brazil has done just a fraction of the testing seen in those three countries.
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The global distinction is likely to pile pressure on President Jair Bolsonaro, who lost his second health minister in a month on Friday as he defies public health experts and calls for widespread use of unproven drugs.
Bolsonaro has been fiercely critical of the orders by many of Brazil’s state governors for strict social isolation and quarantine to combat the spread of the virus, including the closure of schools, shops and restaurants.
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