Brazil tops 2 million cases of coronavirus, with 76,000 dead

Since late May, three months after Brazil’s first confirmed coronavirus outbreak, it has registered on average more than 1,000 daily deaths in a gruesome spike that has yet to be tilted downward. The federal health ministry announced on Thursday evening that 2 million confirmed cases of virus infections and 76,000 deaths have passed through the country.

Even as cases wan somewhat in Brazil ‘s biggest and hardest-hit cities, the virus is peaking in new locations across Latin America’s largest country. Experts blame President Jair Bolsonaro for denying the virus’ deadly potential and for lack of national coordination coupled with fragmented responses from city and state governments, with some reopening sooner than recommended by health experts.

Modeling by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington estimates that Brazil’s death rate will hit nearly 200,000 by November, almost closing the gap with that of the US. Predictions have a large margin of error. “We’ll see how this case, known as Brazil, can act before the end of this outbreak,” said Mandetta, who in April fired Bolsonaro as health minister to back up quarantine steps by state governors.