Coronavirus: Brazil announces first death

The country has reported a total of 234 cases, the largest in Latin America

TOPSHOT - Overview of the Doctor Edgar Magalhaes Noronha (Pemano) Penitentiary taken during a riot on early March 17, 2020, in Tremembe, 155 km from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Hundreds of prisoners rebelled and fled from various jails in the interior of Sao Paulo on March 16 after authorities suspended a temporary release of inmates to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. More than 440 were already recaptured. / AFP / Lucas LACAZ

Brazil has recorded its first death from coronavirus.

Sao Paulo mayor Bruno Covas made the announcement in Sao Paulo state on Tuesday.

The patient was a 62-year-old man who died in the city of the same name on Monday.

"Unfortunately, it was confirmed this morning," Mr Covas told DBN radio.

The country has reported a total of 234 cases of the virus that originated in the Chinese province of Hubei. It is the largest toll of any country in Latin America.

Brazilian Foreign Trade Secretary Marcos Troyjo, who was part of the Brazilian delegation that met with US President Donald Trump nine days ago, tested positive for the coronavirus, his office said in a statement on Monday.

Mr Troyjo, who is Brazil's deputy economy minister, was also in Washington last week. He is showing no symptoms and is working from his home in strict isolation, the statement said.

Meanwhile, hundreds of inmates have escaped from at least four prisons in the state of Sao Paulo after local officials cancelled their temporary exits because of fears they could bring the new coronavirus back with them upon their return.

Sao Paulo state's penitentiary administration secretariat said in a statement on Monday night that 174 inmates have already been recaptured.

Brazilian media said more than 1,000 inmates could be on the loose. Reports also say inmates were complaining about restrictions to visitations this weekend, also aimed at containing the virus.

A video shot in the city of Mongagua, on the coast of Sao Paulo state, and broadcast by TV Globo shows hundreds of men running out of a prison that has the capacity to hold about 2,800 inmates.

The local government prohibited the temporary exit from prison of about 34,000 inmates of a semi-open regime due to fears they could get infected outside and bring the virus back to the penitentiary.