Brazil approaches 600,000 COVID deaths in second-deadliest outbreak

FILE PHOTO: A patient with suspected COVID-19 infection arrives at the Sao Jose hospital in the Emergency Mobile Care Service (SAMU) ambulance, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Duque de Caxias near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares/File Photo

Brazil has had 24,611 new cases of the novel coronavirus reported in the past 24 hours, and 648 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Thursday.

The South American country has now registered 21,308,178 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 592,964, according to ministry data, in the world’s third worst outbreak outside the United States and India and its second-deadliest after the United States.

As vaccination advances, the rolling 7-day average of COVID deaths has fallen to less than one fifth of the toll of almost 3,000 a day at the peak of the pandemic in April.

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