Brazil hits 500,000 Covid deaths as President Jair Bolsonaro still refuses to back social distancing.

THE number of Covid deaths in Brazil has soared passed 500,000 - as President Jair Bolsonaro still refuses to back social distancing measures.

The health institute Fiocruz says the situation in Brazil is "critical" and experts fear the country's outbreak could worsen amid its lack of restrictions.

The nation's slow jab rollout has been a cause for concern, with only 11 per cent of adults fully vaccinated, the BBC reports.

And President Bolsonaro has been criticised for his handling of the pandemic - with his scepticism toward vaccines, lockdowns and mask-wearing requirements leaving Brazilians up in arms.

Tens of thousands protested against the Government's handling of the pandemic on Saturday.

In cities like Rio de Janeiro and Brasília, fuming Brazilians held banners with slogans like "Bolsonaro must go" or the words "500,000".

It came as Brazil reported an average of 70,000 cases and 2,000 Covid deaths per day in the last week.

Most of the new infections and deaths were among people aged 20-59, Fiocruz said, warning that the start of winter in the southern hemisphere next week, could result in more infections.

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