Brazil's health minister confirmed 407 new coronavirus deaths Thursday, the country's largest single-day increase since the virus struck the South American country.
The majority of the deaths were in Sao Paulo, the epicenter of the pandemic in the country, where Mayor Bruno Covas warned the greatest hardship is yet to come.
The virus casualties in Brazil come as President Jair Bolsonaro has started advocating to move away from social isolation measures that still are being supported by most governors and mayors to contain the virus.
Meanwhile, Brazil’s new health minister, Nelson Teich, is casting doubts about the way governors are using data to impose self-isolation measures to fight the spread of the coronavirus, urging a standard model to analyze information.
"If you produce ‘alarming’ numbers and people treat a mathematics model as the truth, you will worsen the scare and expectations of the society," Teich said Thursday.
Teich appeared to be echoing the sentiments of Bolsonaro, who fired the previous health minister partly over his support of the governors' stay-at-home measures that Bolsonaro said are harming the economy.
Teich said next week he’ll unveil the administration's model for handling the outbreak.
Brazil has reported more than 43,000 infections and upward of 3,300 deaths.
So far, nearly 50,000 people have tested positive for the disease in Brazil.