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Brazil's coronavirus death toll exceeds the UK's making it the second highest in the world

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By Euronews with AP
Brazil's coronavirus death toll exceeds the UK's making it the second highest in the world
Copyright  Andre Penner/Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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On Friday the Ministry of Health in Brazil reported 909 deaths due to COVID-19 putting the death toll above the UK’s making it the second-highest in the world.

Health experts predict the peak of Brazil’s outbreak will come in August. The virus has killed nearly 42,000 Brazilians and over 800,000 people have been infected with COVID-19.

Dr. Michael Ryan, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, said on Friday that the situation in Brazil remains “of concern,” but he added that intensive care bed occupancy rates are now below 80% in most areas of the country.

“Overall the health system is still coping in Brazil", Ryan said, although, "the health system across the country needs significant support in order to sustain" this effort.

A mounting body count

Manaus, the capital of Amazonas State, is one of Brazil’s worst-hit cities. Last month nearly 19.4 people died from COVID-19 per 100,000 residents, compared to 4.4 for all of Brazil, and authorities have had to dig mass graves to cope with the huge increase in deaths.

Meanwhile, in Sao Paulo, graveyards have reached their capacity, forcing funeral services to improvise to free up more space.

Sao Paulo’s municipal funeral service issued a statement on Friday detailing a plan to deal with the mounting body count. The remains of people who died at least three years ago will be removed and put in numbered bags to be stored temporarily in storage containers.