İrem UZUN -TDO- According to the Reuters, Brazil's Health Ministry is no longer showing a total count of confirmed novel coronavirus cases on its website, as infection numbers surge along with the death toll. It follows months of criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the crisis, after he dismissed the pandemic as "a little flu" and has refused to wear a mask or practice social distancing.

Brazil has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world and the third-highest death rate. 672,800 Brazilians had tested positive for the virus and the number of deaths exceeded 35,900 on Sunday morning. President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted Saturday that the "cumulative data ... does not reflect the moment the country is in. Other actions are underway to improve the reporting of cases and confirmation of diagnoses."

Brazil's health ministry took down a website that had shown daily, weekly and monthly figures on infections and deaths in each of the country's states. Instead, it said it would now only be reporting cases and deaths in the past 24 hours, with Mr Bolsonaro defending the move, saying the totals were not representative of the situation.

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