RIO DE JANEIRO (Xinhua) — Brazil overtook the U.S. as the country with worst single-day death toll from COVID-19 on Monday.
Brazil on Monday said its death toll from the novel coronavirus climbed to 23,473, following 807 fatalities in a single day. Meanwhile, the number of deaths from COVID-19 in the United States dropped to 646 from 1,086 on the previous day, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Previously, the U.S. had been reporting the worst COVID-19 single-day death toll for weeks. On April 16, the country reported 4,591 deaths in 24 hours. The U.S. has a total caseload of 1,662,768 with nearly 100,000 deaths by Monday.
For Brazil, the total number of people who have tested positive for the disease reached 374,898, with a mortality rate of 6.3 percent, according to the Brazilian Health Ministry. In the past 24 hours, 11,687 new cases of infection were detected, while a total of 153,833 people have recovered since the pandemic reached Brazil.
The White House on Monday announced a travel ban on Brazil, saying in a statement that the measure will come into force at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on Tuesday.
Brazil’s Interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello warned towns in the interior of the country to brace for the pandemic, which has mainly ravaged Brazil’s larger coastal cities, such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.
Interior cities need to prepare their healthcare networks for a wave of COVID-19 cases, including from smaller surrounding towns, he said.
“We must have the structures that were prepared in the capital and metropolitan regions to receive these people from the interior, where they don’t have these structures,” Pazuello said in a video conference organized by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Brazil’s leading research center for diseases.
Brazil is entering the stage of the pandemic that will see “its dispersion somehow towards the interior,” he said.
At the start of May, some 44 percent of Brazilian cities with 20,000 to 50,000 inhabitants registered cases of infection, according to a study by Fiocruz.