Brazil reported over 16,000 new coronavirus cases and more than 1,000 deaths on Wednesday.

According to the Health Ministry, 16,324 more people tested positive for COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, raising the overall count to 391,222.

It said 1,039 more fatalities across the country have pushed the death toll up to 24,512.

Brazil, which has the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in South America, is the hardest-hit country in the world after the US.

More than 5.59 million cases have been confirmed in 188 countries and regions since the virus emerged in China last year.

The pandemic has killed more than 350,500 people worldwide, while 2.28 million people have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.

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