SAO PAULO, Feb. 22 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian states of Sao Paulo and Bahia on Monday decided to strengthen mobility restrictions on residents to reduce COVID-19 infection rates and the pressure on the hospital system as the country's total cases surpassed 247,000.
Brazil reported 639 more COVID-19-related deaths in the last 24 hours, raising its nationwide death toll to 247,143, the Health Ministry said Monday.
During the same period, the ministry also reported 26,986 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total infections to 10,195,160.
Sao Paulo, the most populated state and hardest-hit by the virus in the country, registered its highest number of intensive care unit patients on Monday since July 2020, with a total of 1,978,477 coronavirus cases and 57,842 deaths.
A lockdown went into effect in Araraquara city in central Sao Paulo state, where 12 local cases of the virus variant detected in the northwestern state of Amazonas were reported, while Sao Bernardo do Campo, a major industrial center in Sao Paulo, ordered a night curfew.
In Bahia, a night curfew was put into force along with other restrictions, including suspending classes in the state. In addition, all beaches and clubs were closed in Bahia's capital Salvador to avoid crowds.
Globally, Brazil ranks second in COVID-19 deaths after the United States and the third in cases, behind the United States and India. Enditem