Brazil coronavirus deaths rise above 130 000

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Brazil registered 874 novel coronavirus deaths over the last 24 hours and 43 718 additional cases, the nation’s health ministry said on Friday.

The country has now registered 130 396 coronavirus deaths and 4282 164 confirmed cases in total.

Brazil, with the third worst outbreak of novel coronavirus, is still studying whether to join the COVAX Facility, a global COVID-19 vaccine allocation plan co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the acting Health Minister said on Thursday.

Eduardo Pazuello said the decision was still under consideration, speaking by video conference at a meeting of ACT, the global alliance to accelerate development, production and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.

“If we opt for membership, Brazil could be the biggest contributor,” Pazuello, an active duty Army general, said.

Brazil was making available its “robust vaccine production capacity” and its experience with universal access to health services and vaccination of the entire population, he said.

The decision on joining COVAX is up to President Jair Bolsonaro. The deadline is September 18.

One part of ACT, short for Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A), is the COVAX Facility that aims to help buy and fairly distribute vaccine shots when they become available.

More than 70 nations have so far committed to joining, agreeing to procure COVID-19 vaccines through COVAX for their populations.