Brazil’s total coronavirus cases on Sunday neared 500,000 as the country reported more than 33,000 new patients over the past 24 hours.

According to the Health Ministry, 956 additional deaths were reported, bringing the total fatalities to 28,834 while 33,234 more people tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 24 hours, raising the overall count to 498,440.

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.

Globally, more than 6 million cases have been confirmed in 188 countries and regions since the virus emerged in China last year.

The pandemic has killed nearly 370,000 people worldwide, while over 2.56 million people have recovered so far, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University of the US.

* Writing by Burak Bir.

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