Brazil on Saturday reached 28,834 coronavirus fatalities, surpassing hard-hit France and becoming the country with the world’s fourth-highest death toll.
Only the U.S., UK and Italy are ahead of the South American country.
While the US death toll stands at 103,685, UK’s is 38,376 and Italy’s 33,340, according to an AFP tally.
At the epicentre of South America’s coronavirus outbreak, Brazil also saw an increase of 33,274 cases in the past 24 hours — a new daily record in the world, the Health Ministry said.
That number brings Brazil’s total caseload to 498,444, the second-highest in the world, lagging only behind the United States, which has 1,806,585.
Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro remain the hardest-hit states in Brazil in terms of sheer numbers.
However, per capita rates are higher in the country’s impoverished north and northeast, where health facilities are reaching capacity.
Brazil’s Ministry of Health has indicated “there is no way to foresee” when the country’s outbreak will peak.
Experts also said the number of cases could be 15 times higher than the confirmed figure because there has been no widespread testing.
The pandemic is spreading across Brazil under a cloud of confrontation, between President Jair Bolsonaro and the governors and mayors.
While the governors implement restrictive measures, Bolsonaro, who has pinned his hopes of re-election on a booming economy, berated them for imposing what he calls “the tyranny of total quarantine.”