Brazil passed the mark of six million confirmed coronavirus infections on Friday, local authorities report. More infections have only been registered in the United States and India.
Brazil registered 38,397 new infections and 552 deaths in 24 hours. The official death toll thus rose to 168,613. It is the second highest death toll from COVID-19 in the world.
After three months of declining numbers since the peak in late July, infections are on the rise again, government data shows. The country peaked on July 29 with just over 69,000 infections and about 1,600 deaths in a day.
At the end of October, the virus appeared to be under control with an average of 20,000 cases and 425 deaths per day. But this week, through Thursday, the average daily death rate rose to 480 and the number of infections rose to 26,500.
In recent days, the cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro have registered a spate of hospital admissions of patients with COVID-19.
Many places went into lockdown after the coronavirus first appeared in Brazil in February, but normal life in the biggest cities has largely returned in recent weeks. Bars, restaurants and shops are again full of people who often don’t wear face masks.