Almost 1,500 more lives were lost to COVID-19 in Brazil and Mexico, with the combined number of new infections in the two countries close to 45,000, health authorities said late on Friday.

At least 858 more patients died in Brazil, raising the death toll in the world’s third worst-hit country to 135,739.

The Health Ministry confirmed 39,797 new coronavirus cases over a 24-hour period, taking the overall count to over 4.49 million.

Over 3.89 million patients have recovered in Brazil, which has been the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in Latin America.

The financial hub of Sao Paolo, with a population of nearly 46 million, remains the country’s hardest-hit region.

In Mexico, 4,841 more infections and 624 fatalities were registered over the past day.

The total COVID-19 count now stands at 688,954, including 72,803 fatalities and 482,109 recoveries, according to the Health Ministry.

Across the world, the pandemic has claimed more than 952,000 lives in 188 countries and regions since last December.

Over 30.53 million infections have been reported worldwide, with close to 20.8 million recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US’ Johns Hopkins University.

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