Brazil has recorded 41,828 deaths during the coronavirus pandemic surpassing the UK’s death toll, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
Officials in Brazil reported 909 deaths on Friday and is the hardest-hit Latin American nation with more than 828,000 confirmed virus cases.
The country now has the second-highest death toll from Covid-19 behind the United States, figures from Johns Hopkins University suggest.
Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, is to free up space at its graveyards during the pandemic by digging up the bones of people buried in the past and storing their bagged remains in large metal containers.
The remains of people who died at least three years ago will be exhumed and put in numbered bags, then stored temporarily in 12 storage containers the city’s funeral service has purchased.
The containers will be delivered to several cemeteries within 15 days, a statement said.
Sao Paulo is one of the Covid-19 hot spots, with 5,480 deaths as of Thursday in the city of 12 million people.
Health experts are worried about a new surge now that a decline in intensive care bed occupancy to about 70% prompted Mayor Bruno Covas to authorise a partial reopening of business this week.
The peak of infection is predicted to hit Brazil in August, having spread from the big cities where it first appeared into the nation’s interior.
Dr Michael Ryan, the World Health Organisation’s emergencies chief, said: “Overall the health system is still coping in Brazil, although, having said that, with the sustained number of severe cases that remains to be seen.
“Clearly the health system in Brazil across the country needs significant support in order to sustain its effort in this regard. But the data we have at the moment supports a system under pressure, but a system still coping with the number of severe cases.”
Meanwhile, officials in Beijing are moving quickly to stem a new coronavirus outbreak after the discovery of seven cases the past two days.
The National Health Commission said six of the cases were confirmed in Beijing on Friday, a day after the first was reported. They are the first locally transmitted cases in the city in more than 50 days.
Chinese media said at least two of the infected people had visited a wholesale market dealing in fresh food.
Authorities said all workers at the Xinfadi market were being tested for the virus and testing of food and environmental samples had been ordered for all of Beijing’s wholesale food markets.
Earlier, the city said it was delaying the planned reopening of school for a number of pupils due to take place on Monday because of the new cases.