Brazil's COVID-19 deaths pass 162,000, with 5.6 million cases - ministry

FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brazil
FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Brazil

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil reported 18,862 additional confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours, and 279 deaths from COVID-19, the health ministry said on Friday.

The South American country has now registered 5,631,181 cases since the pandemic began, while the official death toll has risen to 162,015, according to ministry data, in the world's most fatal outbreak outside the United States.

(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Chris Reese)