Brazil faces "very serious situation" in pandemic: WHO

FILE PHOTO: Elderly people wait in line to receive a dose of the Sinovac's CoronaVac coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine, during a vaccination day for 65-year-old and older citizens in Duque de Caxias near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil March 29, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

GENEVA (Reuters) - A number of states in Brazil are in critical condition and hospitals are overwhelmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, World Health Organization epidemiologist Maria van Kerkhove told a briefing on Thursday.

“Indeed there is a very serious situation going on in Brazil right now, where we have a number of states in critical condition,” she said, adding that many hospital intensive care units are more than 90% full.

Brazil, where a more transmissible virus variant is circulating, has become an epicenter of the pandemic.

Reporting by Silke Koltrowitz and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Michael Shields