The novel coronavirus claimed 1,352 lives in Brazil and 751 in Mexico over the past 24 hours, according to health authorities Wednesday. 

In Brazil, the second-hardest hit the country in the world after the United States, the death toll climbed to 109,888, while the number of cases surged to over 3.4 million, including 47,784 new infections. The number of recoveries exceeded 2.5 million.

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

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

President Jair Bolsonaro, who tested positive for the virus on July 7, has recovered.

Mexico death toll hits 57,774

The death toll in Mexico hit 57,774 with 751 additions. Total cases rose to 531,239, as 5,506 more people tested positive. As many as 363,307 people have recovered from the disease.

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

Since last December, over 22 million people have been infected, while more than 781,000 have died of the virus in 188 countries and regions, according to Johns Hopkins University’s running tally.

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