The coronavirus pandemic is stabilising in Brazil and any reversal of its rampant spread in the vast country would be “a success for the world”, the WHO said Friday.

The World Health Organization’s emergencies director Michael Ryan told a virtual press conference that there was a “clear downward trend in many parts of Brazil”.

Brazil has the world’s second-highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths after the United States.

According to the WHO’s COVID-19 dashboard, more than 3.45 million people have tested positive for the virus in Brazil, with 111,100 people having lost their lives.

The country has recorded nearly 6,900 deaths and more than 290,000 cases in the last seven days, according to the UN health agency.

“The acceleration of cases has stabilised but there’s still a very high number of cases and a large number of deaths,” Ryan told reporters.

“Credit to the health workers and the communities in Brazil for taking the necessary actions to stabilise the situation.

“We’re in that difficult period in Brazil where it looks like things could be getting better.

“The question is: is this a lull, can this be continued and can we see that downward trend?”

– Patchwork across Brazil –

Ryan said some parts of the South American country were showing a clear downturn, while other areas were experiencing increases, with the disease still very prevalent and unstable in its transmission.

However, in general, “the trend in Brazil is stable or downwards. That needs to keep going”, the Irish epidemiologist said.

“Brazil has been contributing a huge proportion of global cases in this pandemic for a long number of weeks and months now, and any success in Brazil is a success for the world.

“If countries like Brazil, India, the United States and other large countries control the disease, that’s not just contributing to national numbers going down — that will also contribute to the overall impact of the pandemic.”

Latin America represents nine percent of the world’s population but has registered 40 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths in the last two months.

“There is still much to do in Brazil,” said Ryan.