Brazil's Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 500,000

Brazil's Coronavirus Death Toll Surpasses 500,000

June 21, 2021, 7:08 a.m.

Brazil's health authorities say the death toll from the coronavirus topped half a million on Saturday. That makes it the second country after the United States to reach that number.

New daily cases averaged around 72,000 this week, and daily deaths continued to top 2,000. Only about 10 percent of the population has been vaccinated.

President Jair Bolsonaro has been reluctant to implement basic preventive measures, such as limiting people's outings and movements, restricting economic activities, and requiring people to wear face masks.

Opposition supporters and others held large protests in many cities, including Rio de Janeiro, on Saturday.

A report by the country's health authorities on Thursday warns of a further spread of the virus as the southern hemisphere heads into winter. It is unclear if effective measures will be taken.

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