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Brazil is dealing with a coronavirus outbreak

The US has imposed travel restrictions on foreign nationals who have been to Brazil in the last 14 days.

The South American nation recently became the world’s second major hotspot for coronavirus cases.

Brazil currently has more than 347,300 confirmed cases, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

A White House spokeswoman said the restrictions would help ensure new cases are not brought into the US.

“Today’s action will help ensure foreign nationals who have been in Brazil do not become a source of additional infections in our country,” White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.

The restriction will not affect trade between the two countries.

Earlier on Sunday, White House National security adviser Robert O’Brien told CBS “Face the Nation” that travel restriction for Brazil were expected shortly.

“We hope that’ll be temporary, but because of the situation in Brazil, we’re going to take every step necessary to protect the American people,” Mr O’Brien said.

US President Donald Trump suggested earlier this week that he was considering imposing a ban on travel from Brazil.

The US currently has over 1.6 million coronavirus cases and is nearing 100,000 deaths linked to the virus.

Sunday’s announcement is the latest travel restriction imposed by the US in a bid to combat the spread of the virus.

The president suspended travel for many travellers from China early this year and in mid-March he announced sweeping travel restrictions on many European countries.

Canada and the US also recently agreed to extend the closure of their shared border to non-essential travel.

Brazil recently overtook Russia with regards to known cases of the virus. President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly dismissed the risks posed by the virus.

The number of deaths in Brazil has been doubling roughly every two weeks, compared to about every two months in the UK, four months in France, and five months in Italy.

Expert have warned that the real figure may be far higher due to a lack of testing.