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Commuters at the Luz station in São Paulo. Brazil has the world’s second-highest number of COVID-19 cases after the U.S. Pacific Press/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Ge hide caption

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Brazil reported a record spike of daily coronavirus infections Thursday, as widespread criticism continues to dog President Jair Bolsonaro for playing down the outbreak. The country has confirmed more than 438,000 cases, the world’s second-highest number after the United States.

The rise in cases comes as São Paulo, the state with the highest number of registered deaths, prepares to ease restrictions in some areas.

Brazil’s Health Ministry reported 26,417 new confirmed cases in the previous 24 hours. For the third consecutive day, the country’s official tally of

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