Brazil has reported over 90,000 COVID-19 cases for the first time on its second day in a row of record daily figures amid a collapse of its health system.
The Ministry of Health recorded a total of 90,303 new COVID-19 cases on March 17, bringing the nationwide tally to 11,693,838 cases.
The ministry also reported 2,648 additional deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the nationwide death toll to 284,775 deaths.
The rise in cases and deaths come as COVID-19 units in 25 Brazilian states are at or above 80% capacity, according to health institution Fiocruz.
The numbers also came hours after a survey by polling institute Datafolha revealed that 54% of Brazilians disapproved of President Jair Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bolsonaro said earlier this week that Brazil is “moving into a more aggressive phase in the fight against the virus.”
Bolsonaro also appointed Doctor Marcelo Queiroga earlier this week to replace General Eduardo Pazuello as the health minister.
“We plan to reduce the number of deaths with two main points: social-distancing policies to reduce the spread of the virus, and expanding our hospitals’ capacity,” Queiroga, who is now Brazil’s fourth health minister since the pandemic began, said at a press conference on March 17.
Brazil has the second highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the world, after the United States.
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