On Thursday evening, Brazil’s federal health ministry reported that the country has surpassed two million confirmed cases of coronavirus, with the death toll topping 76,000.
Since the end of May, Brazil has recorded more than 1,000 daily COVID-19 deaths on average. “People have become callous,” former health minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta told The Associated Press. “When you say, ‘Yesterday, there was 1,300 deaths,’ people say, ‘Okay, then it didn’t go up. It was 1,300 people the day before, too.'”
Brazil has the second-highest number of cases in the world, behind the United States. Health experts say there are many reasons why the numbers are soaring — there is no coordinated nationwide effort to slow the spread of the virus, skeptical Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro set a poor example early on by ignoring social distancing measures and not wearing a mask, and several areas reopened businesses too soon. Last week, Bolsonaro tested positive for COVID-19.
It’s also believed that because adequate testing isn’t being conducted, the official count is too low; based on the number of confirmed deaths, a model created by Brazilian professors estimates that the country has had 10 million infections, AP reports. In Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, so many people are dying that they are being buried in mass graves.
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