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A burial at the Nossa Senhora Aparecida cemetery in Manaus, in the Amazon forest in Brazil, on April 22. Photo: Michael Dantas/AFP via Getty Images

Brazil and Ecuador have become coronavirus epicenters in Latin America, as prolonged lapses in tracking and testing have led to severely undercounted death tolls, the Washington Post and the New York Times report.

Where it stands: Brazil's health minister, appointed by far-right President Jair Bolsonaro last week, said the government plans to buy 46 million tests, but has not detailed when they will arrive or be distributed, per the Post. Authorities in Ecuador, including the country's president, believe the national death toll is much higher than currently reported.

  • In Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city and main port, "forensic police have been working around the clock to collect and account" for the dead as the country struggles to find new places to bury bodies, the Times reports.
  • In Brazil, hospitalized patients and people dying in their homes aren’t being tested for COVID-19, the Post reports. Some medical professionals are also being tested and trenches for mass graves are newly dug in Brasilia, the country's capital city, per the Post.

What they're saying: "As a researcher, I look at the data and make analyses for the government," Domingos Alves, a data scientist at the University of São Paulo, told the Post. "But as a citizen, I'm frustrated. The government is trying to control the epidemic without the elements of how to control it because they don’t know how serious it is."

  • "It will get much worse. There will be lines at the hospitals. There will be lines at the cemeteries. The next few weeks will be very dark," he said.

Go deeper: Brazil confirms first coronavirus case in Latin America

Go deeper

Aug 1, 2020 - World

Mexico reaches third-most coronavirus deaths worldwide

A coronavirus testing site in Mexico City, Mexico. Photo: Gerardo Vieyra/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Mexico on Saturday surpassed the United Kingdom to become the nation with the third-most coronavirus deaths, per Johns Hopkins University.

By the numbers: The U.S. and Brazil lead COVID-19-related death counts, with over 153,600 and 92,400, respectively as of Saturday. But Mexico's 46,688 deaths inched past the U.K.'s 46,278, with Mexican officials reporting 688 new deaths on Friday alone.

  • Mexico is only sixth in total number of coronavirus cases. Countries with higher case counts include U.S., Brazil, India, Russia and South Africa.
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."

Aug 2, 2020 - World

Berlin protesters clash with police at massive anti-lockdown rally

Thousands of demonstrators protest against the current measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus, in Berlin, Aug. 1. Photo: John MacDougall/AFP via Getty Images

Berlin police said Saturday night at least 18 officers were injured while trying to disperse a large crowd protesting Germany's coronavirus lockdown measures, according to a DW.com translation.

The big picture: Many in the estimated crowd of 17,000, made up of conspiracy theorists, right-wing populists and others, were not wearing masks, reports AP, which notes: "Unlike the U.S., Brazil and Britain, Germany’s government has been praised worldwide for its management of the pandemic." The country has confirmed more than 211,000 cases and just over 9,100 deaths from COVID-19, per Johns Hopkins data.

Editor's note: The top photo in this post has been replaced. The earlier photo depicted a demonstration against evictions.