Brazil has passed the grim milestone of 600,000 coronavirus deaths. The country has registered 600,425 deaths linked to Covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to Health Ministry data released on Friday.

The United States is the only country that has recorded more coronavirus deaths than Brazil.

Since June, when Brazil passed the half-million mark of fatalities, the daily number of deaths has dropped due to progress in the country’s vaccination campaign.

Almost 242 million vaccine doses have been administered since January and more than 45 per cent of adults in the country are fully vaccinated.

Brazil has recorded almost 22 million coronavirus cases – making it the country with the third-highest case count after the US and India.

President Jair Bolsonaro has downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus from the start of the pandemic and rejected protective measures and restrictions.

He has also questioned the value of vaccines and has reiterated several times that he himself has not been vaccinated. A parliamentary probe into his government’s pandemic crisis management is under way.

Tens of thousands of Brazilians have protested against Bolsonaro in the last few months.