Brazil's COVID-19 death toll nears 190,000
Brazil has reported 189,220 deaths from COVID-19, after registering 961 more deaths in the previous 24 hours on Wednesday, Xinhua reports.
According to the Ministry of Health, tests detected 46,696 new infections in the same period, raising the nationwide tally to 7,365,517.
The populous state of Sao Paulo, home to 46 million residents and epicenter of the national outbreak, has seen 45,576 deaths and 1,409,140 cases.
State health officials said in a statement there was a surge both in deaths and cases in the first 23 days of December compared to the same period in November.
The capital Sao Paulo announced the closure of non-essential businesses, including bars and restaurants, on Dec. 25, 26 and 27, and from Jan. 1 to 3 as a result of the spike.