Brazilian medical officials warn of hospital overload as coronavirus cases mount

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Brazil is struggling to fight back against its coronavirus outbreak as health officials warn of overwhelmed hospitals, morgues and cemeteries.

Health officials in Rio de Janeiro and at least four other major cities have sounded the alarm that their hospital systems are near collapse, according to The Associated Press, and observers predict the actual count of cases in Brazil is much higher than the official tally due to delays in testing. 

Brazil has had over 54,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 3,700 deaths. 

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has dismissed the seriousness of the virus as a minor disease and resisted implementing broad social distancing measures.

Nevertheless, officials in the country are sounding the alarm over the country’s lack of testing, warning that it can test 6,700 people per day when roughly 40,000 will need to be administered daily during the virus’s peak.

“We should do many more tests than we’re doing, but the laboratory here is working at full steam,” Keny Colares, an infectious disease specialist at the Hospital Sao Jose in northeastern Ceara state, told the AP.

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