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Record number of virus cases, 1,000 dead in 24 hours in Brazil

29 May 2020, MVT 20:34
A man walks past a graffiti of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wearing a face mask in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 24, 2020 during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. - The Rio de Janeiro state government is requesting people not to go to the beach or any other public areas as a measure to contain the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Mauro PIMENTEL / AFP)
29 May 2020, MVT 20:34

Brazil registered a new record in COVID-19 cases and more than 1,000 dead in a 24 hour period, according to official figures out Thursday.

The South American country has the world's second-highest number of confirmed novel coronavirus cases -- 438,238 -- after the United States.

According to Health Ministry data, 26,417 new cases were confirmed in a 24 hour-period ending late Thursday.

In that same period, Brazil experienced its third-highest number of virus deaths since the start of the pandemic: 1,156, bringing the total death toll to 26,754, the sixth highest in the world.

Some experts, however, believe that the actual virus infection rate could be up to 15 times higher because there has been no widespread testing in Brazil.

The virus is spreading as federal and local authorities clash over health policies.

Most states have imposed partial lockdowns, but President Jair Bolsonaro wants them to end and for the economy to open quickly.

Brasília, Brazil | AFP