Brasilia, Sep 7 (IANS) With 447 new fatalities in 24 hours, Brazil’s overall Covid-19 death toll has increased to 126,650 amid thousands heading to the beach and other recreational spots to celebrate the country’s Independence Day.
A day ahead of Independence Day, thousands flocked to Rio de Janeiro’s famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches and also Santos, Guaruja, Sao Sebastiao and Ubatuba in Sao Paulo on Sunday, reports Xinhua news agency.
While Rio de Janeiro has imposed a ban on social gatherings due to the pandemic, Sao Paulo is the worst-hit state currently.
According to the Globo TV network, less that 40 per cent of Sao Paulo’s residents stayed away from the festivities on Sunday.
Some 200,000 vehicles passed the highway that connects the state capital Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America.
But the Defence Ministry last month cancelled the Independence Day parade, held at the Ministries Esplanade in Brasilia annually on September 7, due to crowd concerns amid the pandemic.
This is the first time the event will not take place since the 1960s.
Brazil currently accounts for the third highest number of coronavirus cases and second highest fatalities in the world.
As of Monday, the total number of cases in the country stood at 4,137,521.
It is also the country with the maximum amount of infections and fatalities in Latin America.
Sao Paulo, the most populated state in the country and the epicentre of the pandemic, has registered over 856,000 confirmed cases and 31,353 deaths, followed by Bahia, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro and Ceara.