RIO DE JANEIRO / SAO PAULO, (Reuters) – Brazil registered over 70,000 new cases of coronavirus yesterday, a daily record, bringing the country’s total caseload above 7 million as a second wave of infections slams the South American country.
Brazil has the second-highest COVID-19 outbreaks in the world, behind the United States alone, with over 180,000 deaths from the highly infectious respiratory virus. The record came yesterday without even the daily numbers from the nation’s most populous Sao Paulo province, which has been the epicenter of the outbreak.
In a statement, the Sao Paulo state government said it had been unable to upload the data due to technical issues.
After peaking at the end of July, daily coronavirus cases and deaths in Brazil fell steadily until early November.
But in the past month, cases and deaths have picked up.
Epidemiologists consulted by Reuters blamed the second wave on relaxing social exclusion measures and reducing the use of masks among Brazilians.
They also noted that while the first wave is driven by infections among poor Brazilians who have not had the means to quarantine for long periods, the second wave has hit richer Brazilians, who have caught the virus while working, eating in restaurants and going to the office, among other activities that were restricted.
Google mobility data shows that public transport and workplaces are more frequent than before the pandemic at some locations in Brazil.
The nation registered 70,574 new infections on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed coronary virus cases to 7,040,608. The previous record for new cases occurred on July 29, when the health ministry recorded 69,074 cases.
The country also recorded 936 new deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths in Brazil to 183,735. This is the first time in three months that daily COVID-19 deaths have exceeded 900 for two consecutive days.