Taking a coronavirus victim to cemetery in Brazil

Brazil registered 16,508 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, taking the national total
to 347,398.

Fatalities also increased by 965 on Saturday.The death toll is now 22,013.

Skeptics, however believed that the actual number of cases and deaths is higher than the official figures disclosed by the government.

The suspicion arose because the testing capacity of Latin America’s largest country lags.

Brazil has now surpassed Russia’s 335,882 cases to become the world Number 2 virus hot spot.

Only the United States, which has 1,666,828 cases is ahead.

On Friday, Dr. Mike Ryan, WHO’s top emergencies expert, described the situation in South America as grave.

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“In a sense South America has become a new epicentre for the disease,” he said.

Brazil is the “most affected,”.

He said authorities there have approved broad use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

He reiterated that clinical evidence does not support the drug’s widespread use, given its risks.

Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been fiercely criticised for his handling of the outbreak.

Bolsonaro’s style has led to the exit of two health ministers as he opposed social distancing measures while advocating the use of unproven drugs for treatment.

The former army captain has seen his opinion poll ratings drop as an unfolding political crisis adds to the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.