The country's Covid-19 death count now stands at 300,685, the health ministry said. (File)Braslia:
Brazil's death count in the coronavirus pandemic surpassed 300,000 Wednesday, as a deadly surge that has pushed hospitals to the brink made it the second country after the United States to pass the bleak milestone.
The country's Covid-19 death count now stands at 300,685, the health ministry said, from 12.2 million infections.
President Jair Bolsonaro announced earlier he was launching a crisis committee to deal with the pandemic, a change of course amid mounting pressure over a situation he has repeatedly minimized.
The far-right president vowed no one would "politicize" the pandemic, after a meeting with the heads of both houses of Congress, the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the central bank chief, most of his cabinet and six of Brazil's 27 governors.
"The prevailing sentiment was solidarity and the commitment to minimize the effects of the pandemic," Bolsonaro said at the presidential palace.
"Life comes first."
The Pan American Health Organization warned Tuesday that the situation in Brazil was "dire," and threatening the rest of the region.
"The virus continues to surge dangerously across Brazil," PAHO director Carissa Etienne said in Washington.
"Cases and deaths are increasing, and (intensive care) bed occupancy is very high in many states."
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