The number of COVID-19 cases in Brazil is expected to skyrocket in the near future, which could lead to the collapse of the country’s public healthcare system, Brazilian Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta said Friday.

“We are expected to enter a phase of rapid infection in April. This rise will last over April, May and June, when the rise is expected to decelerate,” he said. “There should be a plateau in July, and in August, a tendency of fall will start. By September there should be a rapid fall, as it happened in China. This is the scenario we are working with,” he said.

The country’s inadequate health system, which faces a huge shortage of intensive care beds and other equipment, risks collapse, Mandetta said. “We have 30 days to resist reasonably well, with many cases, depending on the society’s dynamics, but clearly by the end of April our system will collapse,” he said. The number of cases in Brazil rose from 98 on March 13 to 904 on Friday, and the number of deaths has reached 11, according to bulletins released by the ministry.

In a move to flatten the curve of the disease, several Brazilian states have taken preventative measures, including promoting social isolation, ordering the shutdown of shopping malls, parks, gyms and tourist attractions and suspending schools and universities until further notice.

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