SAO PAULO/WASHINGTON (REUTERS) – Brazil daily coronavirus deaths were higher than fatalities in the United States for the first time over the last 24 hours, according to the country’s Health Ministry.
Brazil registered 807 deaths over the last 24 hours, whereas 620 died in the United States.
Brazil has the second worst outbreak in the world, with 374,898 cases, behind the US with 1.637 million cases. Total deaths in the US has reached 97,971, according to Reuters tally compared with Brazil at 23,473.
Meanwhile, the White House on Monday issued a statement amending the timing of the start of new restrictions on travel from Brazil to the United States to 11.59pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, May 26.
The White House announced on Sunday that it was restricting travel from Brazil to the United States, two days after the South American nation became the world’s No 2 hotspot for coronavirus cases. In its original announcement, it said the restrictions would come into force on May 28.
The statement did not give a reason for the move. The US Department of Homeland Security, which oversees immigration issues, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The travel ban was a blow to right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who has followed the example of US President Donald Trump in addressing the pandemic, fighting calls for social distancing and touting unproven drugs.
The White House said on Sunday the restrictions would help ensure foreign nationals do not bring additional infections to the United States, but would not apply to the flow of commerce between the two countries.
Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, said on Sunday the measures were needed to protect American people and he hoped they would be temporary. The United States has the largest number of coronavirus cases in the world.