Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro (file photo). Photograph:( AFP )
Amid a surge in cases, the country has also been struggling with its vaccination drive with the Bolsonaro government reportedly unable to secure enough vaccine for its population of 212 million people.
Brazil reported a grim record of more than 2,000 deaths due to COVID-19 on Wednesday.
The South American country is struggling to deal with a surge in cases that have pushed many hospitals close to the breaking point. Brazil has the world's second-highest death toll in the pandemic after the United States with 270,656 deaths along with over 11.2 million COVID-19 cases.
The country also registered its third-highest number of coronavirus infections on Wednesday with nearly 80,000 cases. Health experts say the surge is fuelled by new, more contagious variants of the virus, which includes the P1 variant.
The new COVID-19 strain is believed to have emerged in Brazil around the Amazon rainforest city of Manaus.
Amid a surge in cases, the country has also been struggling with its vaccination drive with the Bolsonaro government reportedly unable to secure enough vaccine for its population of 212 million people with just 8.8 million people having received the jabs even as the WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged Brazil to take aggressive steps.
Meanwhile, former Brazil president Lula Ignacio da Silva has harshly criticised Bolsonaro for failing to effectively deal with the pandemic slamming the president for downplaying the importance of vaccines.
"With the question of the vaccine, it's not a question of if you have money or if you don't. It's a question of life or death, it's a question of knowing what is the role of the president of the republic, to take care of because a president is not elected to spread fake news," Lula said as he pledged that he will get vaccinated by next week.