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Men carry the coffin of someone who died from the coronavirus at the Vila Formosa cemetery, in the outskirts of São Paulo, Brazil, on May 20. Photo: Nelson Almeida/AFPvia Getty Images

Coronavirus deaths in São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil and the Western Hemisphere, have increased by over 485% since the city's health department began keeping track in April.

The big picture: Prolonged lapses in testing and tracking, documented by the Washington Post in April, have led to severely undercounted death tolls in Brazil. The country is reporting the third-most confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world, per Johns Hopkins data — only behind Russia and the U.S.

  • Over 65,000 of the country's confirmed cases are in São Paulo, per Johns Hopkins — an infection rate that overshadows all other cities in the country.

What's happening: 90% of ICU beds in São Paulo are occupied and "suspected deaths from COVID-19 have surged more than fivefold in the past month," the Washington Post reports. Meanwhile, fewer people are currently following the city's stay-at-home order.

  • Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro last week challenged state governors who vowed to defy his push to reopen businesses across the country.
  • São Paulo plans to build 700 more ICU beds and work with private hospitals to take in patients, the Post reports.

Go deeper: Bolsonaro has Brazil headed for worst recession ever

Go deeper

Updated Oct 7, 2020 - Health

World coronavirus updates

Expand chart
Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has active no coronavirus cases in the community after the final six people linked to the Auckland cluster recovered, the country's Health Ministry confirmed in an email Wednesday.

The big picture: The country's second outbreak won't officially be declared closed until there have been "no new cases for two incubation periods," the ministry said. Auckland will join the rest of NZ in enjoying no domestic restrictions from late Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, declaring that NZ had "beat the virus again."

Updated Aug 29, 2020 - Health

University of Alabama reports 1,052 COVID-19 cases since in-person classes began

Photo: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The University of Alabama on Friday reported an additional 485 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students, faculty and staff since in-person classes resumed on Aug. 19, bringing the total number cases up to 1,052, according to the university's coronavirus dashboard.

Why it matters: The outbreak underscores concerns from public health experts that in-person classes could cause community spread within school populations. The total reported on Friday does not include the 381 positive tests caught when students, faculty and staff first re-entered campus.

2 TikTok stars charged for L.A. "mega-parties"

Bryce Hall and Blake Gray in Los Angeles, California. Photo: fupp/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

TikTok influencers Blake Gray and Bryce Hall face criminal charges for hosting "mega-parties" in the Hollywood Hills despite a city ban on large gatherings due to the coronavirus pandemic, authorities announced on Friday.

Why it matters: Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer described the charges as a part of a "crackdown" on house parties that pose a risk to public health.