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Surging Brazil outbreak lifts it to fourth largest in the world

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Bolsonaro has been fiercely critical of the orders by many of Brazil’s state governors for strict social isolation and quarantine to combat the spread of the virus, including the closure of schools, shops and restaurants.

Bolsonaro argues that the toll on the economy is becoming unbearable and businesses must be allowed to reopen as soon as possible. The government now expects Brazil will post its biggest annual economic contraction this year since records began over a century ago.

Brazil’s Vice-President, Hamilton Mourao, underwent a COVID-19 test and was placed in isolation at his official residence on Saturday, after a public servant who had been near him last week tested positive.

Mourao, 66, will not fulfil official duties on Monday, when the results are expected. Bolsonaro has undergone several coronavirus tests after ministers and other close aides tested positive.

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Nationwide testing in Brazil still lags far behind European nations. Brazil had processed nearly 338,000 novel coronavirus tests in official labs by the beginning of the week, according to the Health Ministry. Another 145,000 tests were under analysis or waiting in line.

By contrast, Italy and Spain have each run some 1.9 million official diagnostic tests for the virus.

Brazil’s Health Ministry on Saturday also reported 816 new deaths related to the virus, bringing the total to 15,633.

China has reported 82,941 confirmed case and 4633 deaths since the virus was first detected late last year in the city of Wuhan.

The worst-hit Indian states are Maharashtra with 29,100 cases, Tamil Nadu with 10,108, Gujarat with 9931 and New Delhi with 8895.

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In the last 24 hours, India had confirmed 3970 new cases and 103 fatalities.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is due to announce a decision on whether to extend the 54-day-old lockdown.

Early this month, the government started gradually easing the restrictions to resume economic activity by allowing neighbourhood shops to reopen and manufacturing and farming to resume.

It also has resumed limited train services across the country to help stranded migrant workers, students and tourists.

China reported just five new cases on Sunday, while South Korea recorded 13, raising hopes that a new outbreak linked to nightclubs in Seoul may be waning.

Shanghai announced classes would restart for kindergarteners, first-, second- and third-graders from June 2.

China and South Korea have reportedly consulted Japan about easing border controls on business travellers to help revive business activities.

Sudan’s Health Ministry reported the country’s highest one-day tally of coronavirus infections, with 325 new COVID-19 patients and six deaths.

Venezuela also reported its biggest one-day increase in confirmed coronavirus cases, with 45 new cases bringing Venezuela’s total to 504.

Mexico registered 47,144 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, with the country’s death toll rising to 5045, health authorities said.

Reuters, AP

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