Health officials in Sao Paulo, have called on the new health minister to consider imposing a national lockdown as coronavirus deaths continue to rise. On Tuesday Brazil recorded 2,841 Covid-related deaths - its highest ever daily total.
Sao Paulo registered 679 deaths, also a record for the state. Brazil has the second highest number of infections and deaths in the world, behind the US.
Health minister Marcelo Queiroga - who will be formally appointed on Wednesday - is the fourth person to hold the office since the pandemic began.
He was given the job on Monday by President Jair Bolsonaro, who has faced widespread criticism over his handling of the outbreak.
President Bolsonaro has consistently opposed quarantine measures introduced by state governors, arguing that the collateral damage to the economy will be worse than the effects of the virus itself.
In remarks to the media on Tuesday, Mr Queiroga urged Brazilians to wear masks and wash their hands but stopped short of endorsing a lockdown or even social distancing measures.
The cardiologist told CNN Brasil that while lockdowns were used in extreme situations, they could not be government policy. That drew a strong response from Joao Gabbardo, the head of Sao Paulo's Covid-19 emergency body.
Posting on twitter he said private hospitals had been requesting space in the public health system because of the demand for intensive care beds.
When he [Queiroga] takes over, he will face the worst numbers in the pandemic, Mr Gabbardo tweeted, adding: Suggestion: do not take a stand against a national lockdown.
Right-wing President Bolsonaro has consistently played down the dangers of the pandemic - last week telling people to stop whining about Covid-19.
In total, the country has registered more than 11.6 million infections and 282,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
The latest surge in cases has been attributed to the spread of highly contagious variants of the virus. Regional health systems are reported to be close to collapse with intensive care units almost at full capacity in 15 state capitals.