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Brazil surges to fourth-highest COVID-19 infected nation

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Brazil has added more confirmed COVID-19 cases after a record number of infections on Friday.

  This launches the Amazonian country ahead of Spain as the nation with the world’s fourth-highest number of coronavirus pandemic patients.

  The country added 14,919 cases, according to government data on Saturday, bringing its total to 233,142. It trails the U.S., Russia, and U.K. The numbers exceed those in Spain, which has a total of 231,350 cases as of Sunday and is planning to extend the state of emergency for a fifth time to combat the outbreak.

  Brazil’s new cases come as Vice President Hamilton Mourao and his wife are in self-isolation after a civil servant he came into contact with tested positive for Covid-19.

  According to a note sent by his press office, Mouaro and his wife had tested negative but they are awaiting results from a second test.

  The country reported a daily record for cases on Friday — hours after Jair Bolsonaro lost his second health minister in under a month as the president’s reopen-at-all-costs stance alienates the medical community and deepens a political clash with state governors.

Nelson Teich, who took over the post in April after Bolsonaro fired his predecessor amid public discord over social distancing, quit Friday after just 29 days on the job. The health ministry gave no details on who will replace him.

  Brazil reported a record 15,305 new cases on Friday, solidifying its status as the new global hotspot for the disease. Still, it has a lower death rate than Spain and other badly-hit countries. Brazil lost 816 COVID-19 patients in the past 24 hours, raising total fatalities to 15,633 — which is almost half of the death toll of Spain and France. Italy has twice the number of deaths.

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