Brasilia, Jan 21 (IANS) Brazil registered more that 1,340 coronavirus deaths in the last 24 hours, marking the second highest single-day spike since August 19, 2020, the Health Ministry said.
The highest single-day death toll was 1,524, registered on January 7, Xinhua news agency reported.
The latest fatalities brought the nationwide death toll to 212,831, the second-highest in the world, after the US.
In the last 24 hours, another 64,385 people tested positive for the virus, bringing the overall infection tally to to 8,638,249, the world's third-largest caseload, after the US and India.
The state of Sao Paulo, the most populated in the country, is the most affected with 1,658,636 cases and 50,652 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro, with 490,821 infections and 28,215 fatalities.
The country is currently undergoing a second wave of the pandemic that has resulted in an increase in cases and deaths since December 2020.
On Monday, Brazil launched its vaccination campaign against Covid after the national health regulatory agency authorized the emergency use of CoronaVac, a vaccine manufactured by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac in conjunction with the Sao Paulo-based Butantan Institute, and a vaccine developed by British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and Oxford University.