Brazil in the second-highest number of infections in the world
Brazil has confirmed more than 330,000 cases of the coronavirus, surpassing Russia to become the nation with the second-highest number of infections, behind only the United States.
The death toll has doubled in just 11 days, according to the ministry's data. The majority of the cases are from the Sao Paulo region.
"In terms of attack rates, the highest attack rates are actually in Amazonas, about 490 persons infected per 100,000 population, which is quite high," WHO's emergency director, said.
The grim milestone on Friday came as the World Health Organization (WHO) called South America "a new epicenter" of the deadly virus, with the WHO's emergency director, Mike Ryan, expressing most concern for Brazil.
"In a sense, South America has become a new epicenter for the disease. We have seen many South American countries with increasing numbers of cases," Ryan told a virtual news conference."Clearly there is a concern across many of those countries, but clearly the most affected is Brazil at this point," he said.
The United States recorded a further 1,260 deaths from COVID-19 on Friday, bringing its total to 95,921 since the global pandemic began, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
The country has also officially logged more than 1.6 million cases of the virus, far more than any other nation.
More than 5.2 million people around the world are now confirmed to have the coronavirus, according to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University. More than 337,000 people have died globally while some two million people have recovered.