Brazil registers 965 new coronavirus deaths, confirmed cases hit 347,398

SAO PAULO – Brazil registered 965 new coronavirus deaths on Saturday, bringing the total death toll to 22,013, the Ministry of Health said.

The country now has 347,398 confirmed cases, according to the ministry, up from 16,508 as of Friday, when it surpassed Russia and became the world’s virus hotspot behind the United States.

The actual number of deaths and deaths is believed to be higher than official figures released by the government as the testing capacity of Latin America’s largest country is still lagging.

Brazil’s far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, has been vehemently criticized for addressing the outbreak, which led to the departure of two health ministers for insisting against social distance measures while using unproven drugs for treatment advocated.

The former army captain has seen his polls drop as an unfolding political crisis contributes to the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

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