Brazil event commemorates 600,000 COVID victims

An activist group held a memorial on Copacabana Beach on Friday as Brazil surpassed 600-thousand deaths from coronavirus.

This milestone puts the country second in the world for lives lost to COVID-19, just behind the US.

600 white tissues were hung up across lines, symbolizing the death toll from the pandemic.

The group, NGO Rio da Paz, organised a similar memorial in June 2020 to mark 40-thousand deaths.

According to John's Hopkins University, Brazil reached the 600-thousand deaths number overnight, recording 451 deaths a day in a 7-day average over the last week.

"These are thousands of grieving families, and, one day, we will know how many of those that died, lost their lives because they heard the denying speech of some of our main public authorities" said Antonio Costa, president of the NGO.

Vaccination rates have climbed in the country, with 43 per cent of the population fully vaccinated and 73 per cent receiving at least one dose, according to Health Ministry figures.

Experts say that has helped reduce the numbers of deaths and infections.

The country continues to struggle with the virus, however, as a weary populace hopes for relief in the near future and the death toll continues to climb.