A nurse in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, checks a COVID-19 patient

Brazil on Friday claimed the unenviable position of having the second-highest coronavirus death toll in the world behind the United States, where there is a resurgence of cases.

As at 23:00 GMT on Friday, Brazil has logged 41,901 deaths, more than Britain’s 41,481 deaths.

Brazil also appears to be racing to the one million mark in confirmed cases as it already hit 829,902 cases.

On Friday alone, the South American country recorded 24,253 as at the time of this report.

The figure is slightly lower than the world leader, United States, where several states posted record daily case totals.

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The U.S. recorded so far in the night,26,443 confirmed cases, sending its national total to 2,116,144.

Death toll has also increased to 116,813, with no fewer than 800 deaths on Friday.

The virus pandemic is expected to get worse in both the U.S. and Brazil, especially with the attitude of the leaders of the two countries.

Experts warn the actual number of cases in Brazil could be many times higher than the confirmed over 820,000 cases.

The country’s President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the deadly virus as a “little flu,” and berated state officials for their virus lockdowns.

Brazil has emerged as a new epicentre in the world’s battle with the novel coronavirus, which emerged in China late last year.

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In Central and South America, more than 1.5 million people have been infected — and more than 70,000 of them have died — with no signs of the disease slowing.

But in the US, which has confirmed the most virus deaths at more than 116,000, more than a dozen states including two of the most populous, Texas and Florida, reported their highest-ever daily case totals this week.

“It’s important that we remember that this situation is unprecedented. And that the pandemic has not ended,” Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told a media briefing on Friday.

Nevertheless, US President Donald Trump and many local officials are unbowed in their determination to get the world’s biggest economy back on track and also to begin political campaigns for the November election.

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*With AFP report