Fiocruz, the leading health institute in Brazil, warned that health systems in most of Brazil’s largest cities are close to collapse due to Covid-19 cases.
More than 80 percent 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,” Fiocruz epidemiologist Jesem Orellana told the AFP news agency.
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.
According to Fiocruz, 15 state capitals have intensive care units (ICUs) that are at more than 90 percent capacity including Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and São Paulo.
Two cities – Porto Alegre and Campo Grande – have exceeded ICU capacity.
In its report, the institute warned that figures pointed to the “overload and even collapse of health systems”.