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More than 100,000 people have died of COVID-19 in Brazil

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Sisters Valeria Melo da Silva, left, and Viviane, her husband Luigi do Nascimento visit the grave of their mother who died of COVID-19 at a cemetary in Brazil.
Sisters Valeria Melo da Silva, left, and Viviane, her husband Luigi do Nascimento visit the grave of their mother who died of COVID-19 at a cemetary in Brazil.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Helton Belo
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There have been more than 100,000 deaths due to COVID-19 in Brazil and more than three million cases.

As the country passed the grim threshold of 100,000 deaths, protesters launched one thousand red balloons into the sky over Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana beach in memory of those who died.

The protest was organised by the organisation Rio de Paz, or Rio for Peace, and staged as a criticism of the way the government has managed the health crisis.

One of those attending the gathering was Marcio Antonio do Nascimento Silva, father of a 25-year-old COVID-19 victim.

"This is an act of citizenship. It hurts me to be here, it hurts me to be here showing that my son will not be at my side on Father's Day........and it hurts me a lot to see people passing by and saying that this is a lie, that this is fake news, that this is an act of terror."

Silva stressed that 100,000 people killed by the virus equals many families struggling with loss and leaves hundreds of thousands of people bereft.

A four-metre-long sign, with the phrase, "100,000 - why are we the country with the second-highest number of (COVID-19) deaths?" was displayed at the site.

Breaking the rules

But the soaring death rate still hasn't put some Brazilians off risky behaviour.

Hundreds of football fans partied in Sao Paolo to celebrate Palmeiras' league victory. The gathering was against regulations and few people were wearing face masks.

Others do try to influence people to be more careful.

On the streets of Formiga, a man dressed as the Grim Reaper stood on the road to warn people in cars of the danger of not wearing a mask to slow down the spread of the virus that's ripping through the country.