Brazil’s COVID-19 death toll nears 2,000

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil rose from 28,320 to 30,425, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.

The death toll from the disease increased from 1,736 to 1,924, for a mortality rate of 6.3 percent, the ministry said.

Brazil’s epicenter of the outbreak continues to be the southeast state of Sao Paulo (11,568), followed by the states of Rio de Janeiro (3,944), Ceara (2,386), Amazonas (1,719) and Pernambuco (1,683).

The southeast of the country is by far the worst hit, with 17,224 cases. In contrast, the next worst region, the northeast, has 6,508.

Minutes after the latest numbers were released, Brazil’s Minister of Health, Luiz Henrique Mandetta, announced President Jair Bolsonaro removed him from the post due to their differences in when to lift lockdown measures and reactivate the economy.

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