Brazil has recorded a total of 2,286 Covid-related deaths in a single day for the first time, as infection rates keeps rising.
The country has the second highest death toll in the world, behind the US, it means Brazil has a rate of 128 deaths per 100,000 population, 11th highest amongst 20 of the worst affected countries in the world.
The highest rates are in the Czech Republic with 208 deaths per 100,000 people and the UK with 188 deaths per 100,000 people, according to Johns Hopkins University in the US.
Wednesday saw Brazil record 2,286 deaths, bringing its total to 268,370, experts warn the transmission rate is made worse by more contagious variants.
On Wednesday, former leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva frowned at President Jair Bolsonaro’s decisions.
Earlier this week Mr. Bolsonaro told people to “stop whining”, downplaying the threat from the virus.
A Doctor and Researcher at Fiocruz, Brazil’s leading public health centre, Margareth Dalcolmo said the country was at the worst moment of the pandemic.
According to Doctor Dalcolmo, the surge in cases has put health systems in most of Brazil’s largest cities under immense pressure, with many close to collapse.
In an interview with newsmen she said: “2021 is still going to be a very hard year.”
According to Fiocruz, 15 state capitals have Intensive Care units (ICUs) that are at more than 90% capacity including Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.
In its report, the institute warned that figures point to the overload and even collapse of health systems.
Reports say the capital Brasilia has now reached full ICU capacity, while two cities (Porto Alegre and Campo Grande) have exceeded capacity.
More than 118 million cases of the virus have been recorded worldwide and more than 2.6 million deaths.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Thursday as the anniversary of a pandemic.