Volkswagen in Brazil is suspending vehicle production for 12 days from March 24 due to the worsening COVID-19 public health crisis in the country.

VW said it is stopping manufacturing in order to "protect the health of its employees and their families."

"Only essential activities will be maintained," it said, "Administrative employees will work remotely."

The decision was taken after negotiations with Brazil's Metalworkers Union, which is pressuring companies in the region to stop their production lines.

On Friday last week Brazil's health ministry announced 90,600 new COVID-19 cases, the most that the country has recorded in a single day.

However, Brazil's President Bolsonaro has controversially opposed shutdowns of the economy, in spite of the worsening crisis.