Brazil reported 834 additional fatalities from the novel coronavirus, while Mexico registered 513 more deaths over the past 24 hours, health authorities said late Thursday.

In Brazil, the world’s second worst-hit country after the US, the death toll reached 124,614, while the confirmed cases surpassed 4.40 million with 43,773 new infections.

According to the Brazilian Health Ministry, over 3.24 million people have so far recovered from the virus in the Latin American country.

With a population of over 211 million, Brazil is seen as the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the region.

While the government has been accused of not doing enough to stem the spread of the virus, Vice President Hamilton Mourao has defended its handling and instead blamed a lack of discipline among Brazilians for the failure of social distancing measures.

Brazil’s vibrant financial center of Sao Paolo, with a population of nearly 46 million, is the most affected region in the country.

– Mexico

The Mexican Health Ministry reported 66,329 virus-related deaths with 513 additions over the past day.

With health authorities registering 5,937 more positive tests, total cases in the country rose to 616,894. As many as 430,287 people have recovered from the disease so far, according to official numbers.

The first infection in Mexico was registered on Feb. 28 and the first fatality on March 19.

The virus has claimed nearly 869,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since originating in China in December.

The US, Brazil and India are currently the worst-hit countries.

Over 26.3 million COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide, with recoveries above 17.5 million, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

*Writing by Merve Aydogan

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