Brazil with 53,830 deaths from the COVID-19 pandemic is the worse-hit country after the United States of America.
The jump in infections was the second-highest in a single day in Brazil since the start of the pandemic. However, officials said the record — 54,771 cases, on June 19 — was due to system backlogs that had led to under-reporting for previous days.
Brazil now has nearly 1.2 million infections in total.
Experts say under-testing in the country of 212 million people means the real numbers are probably much higher.
The Pan American Health Organization’s head of communicable diseases, Marcos Espinal, urged Brazil Wednesday to carry out more tests.
The health ministry later said it would start testing 100 percent of even mild suspected cases in the public health system.
Despite the ongoing surge in infections and deaths, many states in Brazil are pressing ahead with plans to reopen their economies after months of painful stay-at-home measures to contain the virus.
But many experts warn it is too soon.
“We’re sending people to the slaughterhouse,” said Domingos Alves, a professor of medicine at the University of Sao Paulo and member of a scientific committee monitoring the crisis, COVID-19 Brasil.
“The curve in Brazil is still rising sharply. We’re still in the first wave.”
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