Brazil has reported its highest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases, becoming the country with the third-highest number of cases in the world behind the U.S. and Russia.
Brazil reported 17,407 new infections and 1,179 deaths on Tuesday, the highest increase for the country since the outbreak began.
The Latin American country, which has emerged as an epicenter of the virus’ spread, has reported 271,885 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 17,983 deaths, and 106,794 recoveries, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. But experts and officials have warned the true numbers could be much higher due to a lack of testing.
Brazil has a population of 209.5 million.
Officials within the country have warned of economic collapse and social unrest if the country remains locked down. Brazil has implemented social distancing and stay-at-home orders in an effort to slow the spread of the highly contagious virus, but it stopped short of issuing lockdown and quarantine measures.
President Jair Bolsonaro has rejected the threat of COVID-19 and has urged businesses to reopen after dismissing the virus as a “little flu.”
Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, reported 324 deaths within the last 24 hours, CNN reported.
The city’s mayor warned Sunday that its health care system is on the brink of collapse as the country sees a new surge in coronavirus cases.