RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil has reported another 1,349 COVID-19 deaths, the largest 24-hour increase to the country's coronavirus death toll since its outbreak began.
The Health Ministry delayed release of the data until 10:00 p.m. local time Wednesday, after the country’s widely watched evening news program had ended. The ministry cited “technical problems.” It also canceled its daily COVID-19 press conference.
The latest virus-related deaths broke a single-day record set Tuesday.
Brazil has reported about 32,500 deaths from the virus so far, the fourth most of any country in the world, trailing just behind Italy. Experts believe the actual death toll is significantly higher but hasn't registered due to insufficient testing.
President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday also designated Gen. Eduardo Pazuello as interim health minister, after nearly three weeks without anyone officially leading the ministry.
Pazuello had no health experience prior to joining the ministry in April. One of his predecessors resigned and another was fired after disagreements with Bolsonaro over proper pandemic response measures.