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Brazil set a new daily COVID-19 death record of 3,650 on Friday, the Ministry of Health said as the pandemic spiraled out of control in Latin America’s largest economy.

Since February, Brazil has had a record for record deaths and new infections as the country is the second most severely affected country in the world after the US, with more than 307,000 deaths from the pandemic.

The threshold of 3,000 deaths was exceeded in one day on Tuesday.

The average daily toll for the past week is 2,400 – more than three times the number in early January.

The number of victims has steadily increased, partly due to the fact that people are giving up social distancing norms and a new variant of the virus that has emerged here and is believed to be more contagious than the original strain.

Another big problem is that the country’s vaccination campaign is slow. So far, only 5.9 percent of the 212 million residents have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine.

President Jair Bolsonaro announced this week that he would set up a crisis committee to deal with the pandemic, a change of course in the face of mounting pressure on a situation he has repeatedly minimized.

The announcements appeared to have done little to tame criticism of Bolsonaro, who has disregarded expert advice on bans and face masks, promoted a drug regime that scientists say doesn’t work, and spoken out against vaccines.

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