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Brazil COVID-19 death toll hits 27,878, surpassing hard-hit Spain

(A worker wearing protective clothing digs a grave for a coronavirus victim at the Caju cemetery in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on May 28, 2020. Photo: AFP-CARL DE SOUZA)

RIO DE JANEIRO, (AFP):- Brazil on Friday reached 27,878 coronavirus deaths, official figures showed, surpassing the toll of hard-hit Spain and making it the country with the fifth-highest number of fatalities.

The epicenter of the South American coronavirus outbreak, Brazil saw 1,124 deaths in 24 hours, the Ministry of Health said.

It also had a record number of new cases — 26,928 in one day — bringing the total number of infections to 465,166.

The United States, Britain, Italy and France lead the world in coronavirus deaths.

As of Friday Spain had recorded 27,121 deaths, with virus fatalities there rapidly slowing. Brazil could soon surpass France, which has seen 28,714 deaths.

Brazil is second in the number of confirmed cases, though trailing far behind the United States which has 1.7 million infections.

Brazil has seen 131.2 coronavirus deaths per one million people — compared to more than 300 in the United States and 580 in Spain — but the pandemic has yet to peak in the South American country.

“There is no way to foresee” when the outbreak will peak, the Ministry of Health said, and experts say the number of cases in Brazil could be 15 times higher than the confirmed figure because there has been no widespread testing.

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