Brazil registered 46,860 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the last 24 hours and 990 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said on Friday.
The nation has now registered 1,274,974 total confirmed cases of the virus and 55,961 deaths.
Brazil, home to the world’s second worst coronavirus outbreak behind the United States, has over 1.2 million cases of the virus, which has killed nearly 55,000 people. On most days, it is spreading faster in Brazil than in the United States, the top country by cases.
The virus initially came to Brazil through airports and spread mostly in its largest cities, but since late May it has been spreading faster in the interior of the country.
Last week, 60% of new cases were registered in smaller cities, according to health ministry data. Deaths are also rising outside of the major cities, and now account for about half of all daily deaths in Brazil.
Brazil’s response to the coronavirus has been criticized by many health experts, as President Jair Bolsonaro has played down the severity of the disease, shown indifference to its rising death toll and aggressively promoted the unproven remedy hydroxychloroquine.