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Aerial view of graves of Covid-19 victims in the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, Amazonas state, Brazil, on April 15 Michael Dantas / AFP / Getty Images

Brazil has now exceeded 400,000 coronavirus deaths. The country’s health ministry reported more than 3,000 new deaths from Covid-19 on Thursday, bringing the total number of deaths recorded during the pandemic to 401,186.

Brazil is the second country in the world to officially hit this dire milestone after the United States, which is approaching 575,000 deaths.

The death toll in the South American country soared after the Christmas and New Year holidays – when people travel frequently during the school and corporate summer holidays – making 2021 the worst phase of the Brazilian outbreak since the novel coronavirus hit in March 2020.

“It is with great sadness that Brazil registers 400,000 victims of Covid-19 today,” Carlos Lula, president of the Nacional Council of Health Secretaries, said in a statement.

“The number reflects the pain of families who lost parents, grandparents, children, and siblings quickly, violently, and often lonely. This also reflects mismanagement and the lack of centralized coordination at the federal level. “

As the death toll from Covid-19 has risen in Brazil, where far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has opposed lockdowns and oversaw an often slow and bumpy introduction of vaccines, young people account for a larger proportion of deaths as older Brazilians close belong to the few who have secured a vaccine.

Fiocruz, a Brazilian public health research institute, recently reported that patients between the ages of 20 and 29 saw the sharpest increase in Covid-19 deaths among all adults between early January and mid-April this year.

Data from the first full epidemiological week of January compared to the second week of April showed that deaths in Covid-19 patients in this age group increased by 1,081%.

In the meantime, the Brazilian vaccination campaign has been slow. About 6% of the 210 million people are fully vaccinated. Several state capitals suspended vaccinations this week due to a lack of coronavac, one of four approved vaccines in Brazil.