Brazil is becoming a 'breeding ground' for coronavirus strains which could plunge the world back into lockdown, a scientist claims.

Neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis warned the South American country is now an 'open-air laboratory' where the virus can spread and eventually create more deadly variants.

It comes after Brazil suffered a record 1,840 new deaths yesterday, bringing the country's total number of fatalities to 259,402.

Meanwhile Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro told his fellow countrymen to 'stop whining' and move on.

Mr Nicolelis, who works at Duke University, told The Guardian : "The world must vehemently speak out over the risks Brazil is posing to the fight against the pandemic.

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has told his fellow countrymen to 'stop whining'

"What’s the point in sorting the pandemic out in Europe or the United States, if Brazil continues to be a breeding ground for this virus.

"It’s that if you allow the virus to proliferate at the levels it is currently proliferating here, you open the door to the occurrence of new mutations and the appearance of even more lethal variants."

The UK has introduced a strict quarantine system to prevent the highly-infectious Brazil variant and other strains from spreading across the country.

Brazil now has the world's second-highest death toll over the past year, after the United States.

While the US outbreak is ebbing, Brazil is facing its worst phase of the epidemic yet, pushing its hospital system to the brink of collapse.

Remarkably Mr Bolsonaro has tried to downplay the crisis.

He said: "Enough fussing and whining. How much longer will the crying go on?"

"How much longer will you stay at home and close everything? No one can stand it anymore. We regret the deaths, again, but we need a solution."