Health systems in most of Brazil’s largest cities are close to collapse due to Covid-19 cases, the country’s leading health institute warns.
More than 80% of intensive care unit beds are occupied in the capitals of 25 of Brazil’s 27 states, Fiocruz said.
Experts warn that the highly contagious variant in Brazil may have knock-on effects in the region and beyond.
“Brazil is a threat to humanity and an open-air laboratory,” Fiocruz epidemiologist Jesem Orellana told AFP.
The country has recorded more than 266,000 deaths and 11 million cases since the pandemic began.
It has the second highest number of deaths in the world after the US and the third highest number of confirmed cases.
Despite this, President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently opposed quarantine measures and expert advice on fighting coronavirus.