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Brazil steps up measures as COVID-19 cases up 45 pct in one day

(Xinhua)    14:47, March 21, 2020

RIO DE JANEIRO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil increased by 45 percent in one day, reaching 904 including 11 deaths, the Health Ministry announced on Friday.

Sao Paulo state has become the most infected state in Brazil, with 396 confirmed cases including two deaths. Rio de Janeiro state comes in second with 109 cases and nine deaths, followed by the Federal District, where the capital Brasilia is located, with 87 confirmed cases.

The Brazilian government highlighted earlier a few states and cities that registered a sustained community transmission of the virus, but the Health Ministry declared on Friday that the entire country has been upgraded to community transmission status.

COVID-19 cases have been recorded in 25 out of the 27 states in Brazil. Only northeastern Maranhao state and northern Roraima have no records of infections so far.

The country will begin on Monday a nationwide campaign to vaccinate against influenza, in a bid to reduce the number of people accessing the public healthcare system due to other types of flu, thus opening more beds for COVID-19 patients.

The campaign is also expected to speed up the diagnosis of COVID-19 since medical workers can rule out flu if a person is already vaccinated. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: He Zhuoyan, Bianji)

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