Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll surpasses 300,000



Brazil’s death toll in the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 300,000 Wednesday, as a deadly surge that has pushed hospitals to the brink made it the second country after the United States to pass the bleak milestone.
A total of 300,685 people in Brazil have now died of Covid-19, the health ministry said, as the country struggled to deal with an explosion of cases blamed on a local variant of the virus that is believed to be more contagious.

Brazil currently has the highest daily death toll in the pandemic by far. It has more than tripled since the start of the year, to an average of 2,273 for the past week.

President Jair Bolsonaro announced earlier he was launching a crisis committee to deal with the pandemic, a change of course amid mounting pressure over a situation he has repeatedly minimized.

The far-right president vowed no one would “politicize” the pandemic, after a meeting with the heads of both houses of Congress, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the central bank chief, most of his cabinet and six of Brazil’s 27 governors.

“The prevailing sentiment was solidarity and the commitment to minimize the effects of the pandemic,” Bolsonaro said at the presidential palace.

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