SAO PAULO, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Brazil on Sunday said it registered 447 deaths from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the past 24 hours, pushing the death toll to 126,650, while thousands headed to the beach and other recreational spots for the long Independence Day weekend.
Independence Day is Monday, Sept. 7.
The Ministry of Health also reported that 14,521 cases of infection were detected in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 4,137,521.
In the southeast state of Sao Paulo, the worst hit by COVID-19 and the most populated in the country, less than 40 percent of residents stayed at home, the Globo TV network reported, citing government figures.
Some 200,000 vehicles passed the highway that connects the state capital Sao Paulo, the largest city in South America, with state beaches such as Santos, Guaruja, Sao Sebastiao and Ubatuba, according to the highway administration.
Scenes of crowded beaches were also reported at Rio de Janeiro's famous Copacabana and Ipanema beaches, despite a current ban due to the pandemic.