Brazil surpassed 4 million cases of coronavirus on Thursday as a growing number of infections continue to be recorded throughout the country.

The health ministry reported 43,773 new cases of Covid-19 and 834 deaths on Thursday evening, bringing total confirmed cases in Brazil to 4,041,638 and its death toll to 124,614. 

After the United States, Brazil has the second-highest number of coronavirus infections and deaths globally, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Brazil also joins the US as only the second country in the world to have passed the grim milestone of 4 million infections. 

A silver lining: While cases and deaths continue to rise, both Brazil’s infection rate and virus-related mortality rate appeared to decline last month; CNN analysis showed.

An average of 869 deaths were recorded daily in the final week of August, the country’s lowest daily average since May 20.

Some more context: This news follows the health ministry’s announcement on Wednesday that the Covid-19 vaccination will not be mandatory when it becomes available in Brazil – although the ministry’s executive secretary, Elcio Franco, said the vaccine “will be a great tool for us to return to normal.”

The Brazilian economy has also taken a significant hit from the pandemic.

According to data from the country’s Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Brazil officially entered a recession on Tuesday after marking a historic 9.7% fall in GDP in the second quarter of 2020.