Brazil approaches 100,000 confirmed virus deaths

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil is approaching the grim milestone of 100,000 confirmed deaths from COVID-19.

That comes five months after the first reported case in a nation of 210 million, which has not shown signs of slowing the disease. Brazil has reported an average of more than 1,000 daily deaths from the pandemic since late May.

The Health Ministry on Friday reported a total of 2,962,442 confirmed cases and 99,572 deaths — tolls second only to the United States. As in many countries, experts believe both numbers are severe undercounts due to insufficient testing.

The non-governmental group Rio de Paz placed crosses and a thousand red balloons on the sand on the famed Copacabana beach on Saturday.

“It’s very sad. Those 100,000 represent various families, friends, parents, children,” said Marcio Silva, 55, who lost his children in the pandemic and joined the tribute.

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HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE VIRUS OUTBREAK:

— Brazil near 100,000 deaths from Covid-19

— Italy urges citizens to keep guard up on virus

— US reports show racial disparities in kids with COVID-19

— Six thousand U.S. parents and kids are doing nasal swabs twice a week to answer some of the most vexing mysteries about the coronaviru s. It could help determine the safety of in-class education during the pandemic.

— A false report claiming five Ukrainians had died after taking an American-made vaccine spread in just a matter of days from a small Kremlin-friendly Ukrainian website to an audience of thousands in U.S.-based Facebook groups.

— A last-ditch effort by to revive collapsing Capitol Hill talks on vital COVID-19 rescue money remains unsolved, meaning more hardship for millions losing enhanced jobless benefits and more damage for the economy.