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Number of coronavirus deaths in Brazil tops 150,000

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Country’s right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly referred to Covid-19 as a “mild flu” and spoke out against restrictions in public life

A family walks next to graffiti that shows a health worker spraying the coronavirus, with the face of the Brazilian president, in Rio de Janeiro. Picture: EPA-EFE / Antonio Lacerda

BUENOS AIRES – The number of people who have died of Covid-19 in Brazil has reached more than 150,000, the Health Ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said 150,198 patients had died in connection with Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The number of people infected with the virus has meanwhile climbed to over five million.

Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, is in second place worldwide in terms of deaths after the United States, and in third place in terms of infections after the US and India.

The number of infections and deaths in Brazil, a country of 210 million inhabitants, is likely to be much higher, as the country conducts relatively few tests for the virus.

Scientific studies suggest that at least seven times as many people were infected as previously known, and twice as many died as many deaths were recorded.

However, the number of new infections and deaths has recently decreased.

Brazil’s right-wing populist President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly referred to Covid-19 as a “mild flu” and spoke out against restrictions in public life.

He persisted in downplaying the threat posed by the pandemic even after he and other members of his family got infected.

– DPA