Brazil overtakes U.K. for 3rd-highest number of COVID-19 cases

Brazil recorded 674 new coronavirus deaths on Monday, the Health Ministry said, and has more than 255,000 confirmed cases, overtaking Britain to become the country with the third-highest number of infections behind the United States and Russia.

According to the database tracking system maintained by the coronavirus resource centre at Johns Hopkins University and Medicine in Baltimore, the U.S. had more than 1.5 million cases, Russia nearly 300,000 and the United Kingdom almost 248,000.

Nearly 17,000 people in Brazil have died from the virus, the Johns Hopkins tracker showed Monday.

According to data from the Health Ministry, Sao Paulo remains the worst hit by the outbreak, with 63,066 cases and 4,823 deaths. Rio de Janeiro is in second place, with 26,665 infections and 2,852 deaths.

The ministry’s daily tally does not indicate that infections and deaths necessarily occurred in the past 24 hours but rather that the records were entered into the system during that time period.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has lost popularity over his handling of the pandemic, but he retains a resilient core of support. Last week, Health Minister Nelson Teich resigned, becoming the second top health official to leave the post since the pandemic began.

General Eduardo Pazuello is the interim health chief. Bolsonaro is in no hurry to choose his replacement, sources say.

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