Brazil witnessed another record breaking daily death toll from coronavirus as it cemented its place as an emerging global epicentre for the disease.
The official toll of 881 deaths was second only to the US, while its total of 177,589 cases surpassed Germany and came within touching distance of France.
The total death toll now stands at 12,400, the sixth worst in the world, but experts say the real figure is far higher due to lack of testing and poor record keeping.
The rising numbers came as hard-Right president Jair Bolsonaro has issued a decree to reopen all gyms and hair salons in Latin America's largest economy, even in regions with strict lockdowns in place.
Mr Bolsonaro, who gained the 'Tropical Trump' moniker even before the crisis, has turned Brazil into a pariah in the region and much of the world for playing down the severity of the disease. He referred to the virus as a "little flu" and has been battling with state governors to lift lockdowns before the peak of the infection curve.
His latest decree — classifying gyms, fitness centers, hair salons and barbershops as "essential services", which may remain open during isolation measures — has been branded as "irresponsible" by several of Brazil's states, with governors refusing to obey the president's orders.
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