Elderly people wait to have a rapid COVID-19 test in Brasilia, Brazil. File/AP
Brazil overtook Russia on Friday as the country with the second-highest number of coronavirus infections worldwide behind the United States, as the Americas emerged as a new epicentre of the pandemic.
The South American country has now registered 330,890 infections and 21,048 deaths from the new coronavirus, though experts say under-testing means the real figures may be 15 times higher or more.
Brazil's death toll rose by 1,001 in 24 hours, the third time in four days it has come in over 1,000.
The surge came as the World Health Organization declared South America "a new epicenter" of the pandemic.
"Clearly there is a concern across many of those countries, but clearly the most affected is Brazil at this point," said WHO emergencies director Mike Ryan.
The United States has registered more than 1.6 million cases and nearly 96,000 deaths, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.
Russia has registered 326,488 cases and 3,200 deaths.
Brazil's death toll is currently the sixth-highest in the world, behind the United States, Britain, Italy, Spain and France.
But the crisis is not expected to peak in Brazil until June.
The country of 210 million people has had a disjointed response to the pandemic.
Far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has famously compared the virus to a "little flu," condemns the stay-at-home measures imposed by state and local authorities, saying they are needlessly harming the economy.Agence France-Presse
At least 3,500,517 infections and 246,893 deaths have been recorded globally. Europe is the continent most affected with more than 1.5 million cases and over 143,000 fatalities.
Italy recorded the fewest deaths from coronavirus, 145, in one day since its two-month lockdown began, while Spain had 87 new virus-related deaths -- the first time the number has fallen below 100 in two months.
Global airlines cut their coronavirus recovery forecast, saying it would take until 2024 — a year longer than previously expected — for passenger traffic to return to pre-crisis levels.
India has amended a law in Jammu and Kashmir allowing Indian citizens to buy land in the disputed territory, said officials, sparking opposition criticism about a steady erosion of the rights of Kashmiri people.
Two people were reported killed and 26 others missing as Typhoon Molave hit central Vietnam on Wednesday, knocking down trees and tearing roofs off homes in some of the worst destruction seen in years.
A senior Chinese official accused the United States on Wednesday of deflecting blame and breaking its word when it comes to fighting climate change, as the simmering diplomatic row between the world's two biggest economies shifts to the environment.
The UAE has strongly condemned the terrorist attack, killing at least eight students and wounding 136 others. It took place on Tuesday in a religious school in the city of Peshawar, northern Pakistan, which claimed the lives of a number of innocent civilians, including children, and wounded others.