Brazil has overtaken the UK as the country with the second-highest number of COVID-19 deaths in the world after recording 41,828 fatalities.
The hardest-hit Latin American nation reported 909 deaths on Friday, with more than 828,000 confirmed cases.
It is now just behind the US with the second-highest number of coronavirus-related deaths, figures from Johns Hopkins University show.
It comes a week after Brazil’s government was accused of attempting to hide the true extent of the outbreak in the country after it stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections.
President Jair Bolsonaro has come under fire for his handling of the crisis after he dismissed the pandemic as “a little flu” and has refused to wear a mask or practice social distancing.
He has also rejected ordering quarantines, and many Brazilians have criticised him for opposing city and state measures such as lockdowns and other steps to curb the spread of the virus.
Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo, is freeing up space at its graveyards by digging up the bones of people buried in the past and storing their bagged remains in large metal containers. And the remains of people who died at least three years ago will be exhumed and put in numbered bags before being stored temporarily in 12 storage containers that the city’s funeral service has purchased.
The containers containing the bodies will be delivered to several cemeteries within 15 days, a statement said.
Sao Paulo is one of the coronavirus hotspots, with 5,480 deaths recorded as of Thursday in a city of 12 million people.
Health experts are concerned about a new spike in cases after a significant fall in the use of intensive care beds prompted mayor Bruno Covas to authorise a partial reopening of business this week.
Brazil is expected to reach the peak of infection in August, with the virus having spread from big cities into the nation’s interior.
Brazil’s latest figures come as India reported another record daily surge in infections to pass the grim milestone of 300,000 cases.
India’s total number of cases reached 308,993, the fourth-highest in the world.