Brazil passes 50,000 deaths from coronavirus: official

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Brazil on Sunday said it had registered more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus outbreak as well as about one million infections, as the second worst-affected country in the world struggles to control the disease.

The Ministry of Health reported 641 new deaths in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 50,617, with 1,085,038 recorded infections.

Brazil is the second most-affected country behind the United States, which accounts for nearly 120,000 deaths and more than 2.2 million cases.

President Jair Bolsonaro, who has famously compared the virus to a "little flu," has clashed with state and over their use of stay-at-home measures and business closures to contain it.

The far-right leader argues the economic impact of such measures risks being worse than the virus itself.

The spread of COVID-19 is accelerating in Latin America, with Mexico, Peru and Chile all hard-hit.

Mexico has recorded 170,000 cases and 20,349 deaths.

Peru passed 8,000 deaths on Sunday as it prepares to reopen on Monday after 99 days of confinement.

Argentina on Sunday passed 1,000 deaths, underscoring the region's woes.

Chile nearly doubled its reported coronavirus death toll Saturday to 7,144 under a new tallying method that includes probable fatalities from COVID-19.

Experts say under-testing means the real numbers are probably much higher.

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