RIO DE JANEIRO, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's COVID-19 death toll surpassed 137,000 on Monday after 377 more patients died from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the previous 24 hours, raising the total number of fatalities to 137,272.
According to the Ministry of Health, tests detected 13,439 new cases of infection in the same period, bringing the total caseload since the start of the outbreak to 4,558,068.
The state of Sao Paulo, the most populated in the country, is the epicenter of the national epidemic, with 937,332 cases and 33,984 deaths, followed by Rio de Janeiro, with 252,046 cases and 17,727 deaths.
Since the first week of September, Brazil has registered a drop in the number of daily deaths and new cases of the virus.
Sao Paulo state's government said Monday Intensive Care Unit (ICU) occupancy fell to its lowest level since the start of the outbreak, with an average occupancy rate of 47.7 percent. In the capital Sao Paulo, the largest city in the country, the rate was even lower, at 47 percent.