Brazil registered a record 1,262 new deaths from COVID-19 in a single day on Tuesday, bringing the total number of victims to 31,199.

The number of deaths on Tuesday, which was higher than the 1,188 recorded on May 21, which was the most fatal day so far, confirms Brazil as the fourth country in the world in terms of the number of victims, and includes it among those that already have more than 30,000, along with the United States, the United Kingdom and Italy.

According to the Ministry’s bulletin, 28,936 new cases were recorded in the last 24 hours, bringing the number of infected to 555,383, confirming Brazil as the second country with the most cases in the world after the United States and the epicenter of the pandemic in Latin America.

The high numbers of cases and deaths come at a time when several regional and municipal governments in Brazil are beginning to implement gradual processes of de-escalation of economic paralysis measures and to relax the guidelines for social distancing.

They also occur when Brazil completes 18 days without a Minister of Health, since the two previous ones left because of their disagreements with Bolsonaro about the strategy to face the pandemic.

The ultra-right-wing leader is one of the most skeptical rulers on the seriousness of the pandemic, he even described the COVID-19 as a “little flu” and since the beginning of the crisis he has defended the end of the distancing measures imposed by the regional governments and the normalization of all activities.

For the head of state, more than half of the Brazilian population will contract the disease regardless of the isolation measures adopted, so his priority is to avoid the already predicted historical recession which, in his opinion, will generate hunger and poverty and may lead to a higher number of deaths.

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