The World Health Organization (WHO) Director Tedros Ghebreyesus declared a state of "health emergency" for all Latin American countries due to the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil.
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WHO officials warned of the unchecked circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants in this South American country where the mutations are linked to an increase in contagions.
In at least seven out of 27 Brazilian states, there are already a majority of cases detected with the British (B.1.1.7), the South African (B.1.351), and the Brazilian (P.1) strains.
"The situation is very serious and we are very concerned. The health measures that Brazil takes should be aggressive, at the same time that it advances in vaccination... If Brazil does not take it seriously, it will affect all the neighbors and beyond," Ghebreyesus said.
The Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) informed that hospitals' capacity is on the edge, especially in the country's southern region where over half of COVID-19 cases confirmed the so-called "variants of concern."
On Friday, this epidemiological institution warned that the COVID-19 death toll could reach up to 3,000 per day if the nation does not take strong measures to curb the spread of the virus.
As of Tuesday morning, Brazil had confirmed 11,055,480 COVID-19 cases and 266,614 related fatalities.