Brazil has become the second country, behind the United States, to record more than a half-million COVID-19 deaths, a Health Ministry official said Saturday.”500,000 lives lost due to the pandemic that affects our Brazil and the world,” Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga tweeted, according to an Agence France-Presse report.Ethel Maciel, an epidemiologist from Espirito Santo University, told AFP, “The third wave is arriving, there’s already in a change in the case and death curves. … Our vaccination [program], which could make a difference, is slow and there are no signs of restrictive measures, quite the contrary.”The United States surpassed 600,000 deaths related to the coronavirus earlier this week.Earlier Saturday, the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center said the world had recorded more than 178 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, and more than 3.8 million deaths.The U.S. leads in confirmed cases of the virus, with more than 33.5 million cases, followed by India, with 29.8 million cases.A festivalgoer crowdsurfs on the first day of the Download Festival at Castle Donington, England, June 18, 2021. The three-day music and arts festival was being held as a test event to examine how COVID-19 transmission takes place in crowds.Britain held its first full music festival since all mass events were canceled in March 2020, the start of the pandemic.About 10,000 fans attended a three-day Download Festival held at Donington Park in central England. The event featured 40 U.K.-based bands. It ends Sunday.All of those who attended, which was only about a tenth of the festival’s pre-pandemic audience, were required to take COVID-19 tests before the event. Neither masks nor social distancing protocols were required, event organizers said.Britain has recorded nearly 128,000 COVID-19-related deaths, the fourth most in the world and the worst in Europe. It also ranks seventh in the number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 4.6 million.Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson delayed by four weeks a lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions that had been planned for June 21. Britain is battling the highly contagious delta variant of the virus, which was first identified in India.

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