WASHINGTON, May 24 (Sputnik) - Washington will give Brazil 1,000 ventilators to help the country, which is currently in second place in terms of the number of coronavirus cases, fight COVID-19, the US National Security Council (NSC) has announced.
"The Administration is donating 1,000 ventilators from the American people to assist Brazil with its medical needs. The United States recognizes the strong efforts of the Brazilian government & will soon be further strengthening our partnership on defense & trade," the NSC said on its official Twitter account on Sunday.
The announcement came shortly after the issuing of a new US entry ban, which prohibits foreigners from traveling to the United States if they had been to Brazil in the past 14 days.
"Brazil is one of our strongest partners in the world. [US President] Donald Trump has implemented temporary restrictions on foreign nationals traveling from Brazil for the shared protection of our people from COVID19, similar to current restrictions with other countries," the NSC said on Twitter.
The new travel restrictions will not apply to the flow of commerce between the United States and Brazil, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Sunday.
Brazil became the country with the second-largest number of coronavirus cases on Friday. Brazil’s coronavirus death toll has been rising rapidly. About a week ago, there were over 15,000 coronavirus deaths registered in the country. On Saturday, Brazil's coronavirus death toll surpassed 22,000. The latest Health Ministry figures, released on Sunday, put the death toll at 22,666.
There are now more than 363,200 confirmed coronavirus cases in Brazil, according to the latest Sunday data from the country's health ministry. Meanwhile, the United States has the largest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases (over 1.6 million) and the highest coronavirus death toll (over 97,600).
On Friday, Mike Ryan, the executive director of the emergencies program of the World Health Organization (WHO), called South America a new epicenter of the coronavirus infection, expressing specific concern for Brazil.