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Thu. 11:03 a.m.: Latest world virus headlines — Brazil reports highest 1-day virus death toll

A pet dog named Money wearing a pet face mask poses for a photo today in Bangkok, Thailand. Daily life in the capital is resuming to normal as the Thai government continues to ease restrictions that were imposed weeks ago to combat the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/ Gemunu Amarasinghe)

Here are summaries of the latest stories worldwide on the coronavirus pandemic, including:

— France is replacing its Bastille Day parade with a smaller ceremony that also honors health workers;

— Craft beer makers in Thailand who were fined for posting brew images on social media are seeking relief for themselves and their ailing industry;

— The pandemic has stranded merchant ship crews at sea for months;

— There are no secrets in the tightly packed lanes of Dharavi, India’s largest slum even in times of no pandemic, so it’s especially so now when it comes to the coronavirus;

— Barcelona residents are reclaiming their city as Spain’s virus restrictions provide a respite from the thongs of foreign tourists that flood Spain’s top tourist destination each summer;

— Watch what you flush: Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney says home-bound residents are clogging sewers and storm water drains with face masks, gloves and wipes.

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil has reported another 1,349 COVID-19 deaths, the largest 24-hour increase to the country’s coronavirus death toll since its outbreak began.

The Health Ministry delayed release of the data until 10:00 p.m. local time Wednesday, after the country’s widely watched evening news program had ended. The ministry cited “technical problems.” It also canceled its daily COVID-19 press conference.

The latest virus-related deaths broke a single-day record set Tuesday.

Brazil has reported about 32,500 deaths from the virus so far, the fourth most of any country in the world, trailing just behind Italy. Experts believe the actual death toll is significantly higher but hasn’t registered due to insufficient testing.

President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday also designated Gen. Eduardo Pazuello as interim health minister, after nearly three weeks without anyone officially leading the ministry.

Pazuello had no health experience prior to joining the ministry in April. One of his predecessors resigned and another was fired after disagreements with Bolsonaro over proper pandemic response measures.

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French troops won’t march on the Champs-Elysees avenue on Bastille Day this year. The French presidency says the traditional military parade will be replaced with a Paris ceremony where health precautions will be observed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said he wants Bastille Day to honor both the military and health care workers who have been on the front line of France’s COVID-19 outbreak.

The French presidency says the July 14 ceremony will take place on the Place de la Concorde square and thousands of participants and guests will be requested to keep physical distance from each other.

It will include the traditional fly-over by the French air force.

The presidency says authorities don’t plan to open the celebration to the general public at the moment but will reassess the situation later.

France has had a Bastille Day parade since 1880.

French health authorities have reported at least 29,000 virus-related deaths in hospitals and nursing homes since France’s first cases emerged.

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MADRID — The Spanish government says a decision to reopen land borders with France and Portugal on June 22 is not final and that negotiations with authorities in those countries are ongoing.

A government spokesman who wasn’t authorized to be named in media reports said the border issue was still “under discussion” with the two neighboring European countries.

Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto announced earlier today that restrictions on border crossings in place since mid-March would be lifted before Spain fully reopens for international tourism on July 1. Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva expressed surprise at Maroto’s announcement.

Santos Silva told national news agency Lusa, in comments published by Diario de Noticias that Portugal has asked Madrid for clarification, saying “the decision on whether to open Portugal’s border falls, of course, to Portugal,”

Maroto also told a group of foreign reporters that Spain would lift a mandatory quarantine period for arriving visitors starting July 1 but that officials were working on scraping the requirement for people traveling by land from France and Portugal.

The Spanish minister said that building trust as a safe destination is key for the recovery of tourism, an industry that generates 12 percent of Spain’s GDP and helps employ 2.6 million people.

Spain has reported over 240,000 confirmed virus cases so far, including 27,000 deaths.

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BANGKOK — More than 400 people and organizations involved with the craft beer business have been summoned by regulatory authorities in Thailand for posting photos of the brew on social media.

Six craft beer associations jointly lodged a complaint with the House of Representatives’ Public Health Commission today protesting that the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, which bars the display of alcohol for promotional purposes.

They argue the law is unclear and violates their right to communicate with customers.

A representative of the beer associations says violations of the act are punishable by a 50,000-500,000 baht fine ($1,580-15,800) and a one-year jail term.

The complainants say their businesses have suffered from measures to combat the spread of the coronarivrus, that included a ban on the sales of alcoholic beverages, the closing of bars and a curfew. A curfew beginning at 11 p.m. is still in effect.

The associations’ representative, Supapong Preunglampoo asserts the industry helps Thailand’s economic growth and said, “There are many people working in this sector struggling to survive here.”

Supapong said: “In the time of difficulties from the COVID-19 outbreak, we would like to ask Thai authorities to look at alcoholic beverages from another viewpoint, not just with health or security concerns.”

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ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s transportation minister says the country is gradually opening up to international flights this month, starting with 40 countries.

Adil Karaismailoglu said today that international flights will resume on June 10, with flights to and from Bahrain, Bulgaria, Qatar, Greece and the self-declared state in the north of Cyprus. Only Turkey recognizes Cyprus’ breakaway north.

Other air traffic routes from and to Turkey to be relaunched in June include several European countries, although not Italy, Spain, France and the United Kingdom, as well as Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Tajikistan, Singapore and Kazakhstan.

The Turkish government plans to screen citizens upon arrival and send them to hospitals if they display COVID-19 symptoms. They would be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

It was not clear what procedures foreign nationals will be subject to.

Domestic flights resumed Monday in Turkey as the government eased an array of restrictions amid a slowdown in confirmed coronavirus infections and deaths.

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ISLAMABAD — Doctors at hospitals in Pakistan are bracing for a surge of COVID-19 patients as the country’s total number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed the number in neighboring China.

Parkistan’s confirmed cases jumped to 85,264 today after officials reported 4,688 new infections during the previous 24 hours and 82 deaths, a single-day record for virus-related fatalities.

The developments prompted the government to order the closure of all shopping malls and markets where social distancing regulations are being ignored.

A medical team of Chinese doctors met with the country’s President Arif Ali in Islamabad to share their experience treating COVID-19 patients.

Pakistan has witnessed a steady increase in infections and deaths since last month, when the government lifted a lockdown that was enforced in March to slow the spread of the new virus.

A total of 1,770 people in Pakistan have died in the pandemic.

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NAYPYITAW, Myanmar — Myanmar’s official election commission has announced that this year’s general election will take place as planned in November and not be postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

Union Election Commission member Myint Naing said at a press conference today that the body would announce the exact date about three to four months in advance.

He said: “Since we’re able to control the COVID situation and it (the election) is a long way from now, the election date won’t be changed.”

Myanmar reported one new confirmed coronoavirus case today, bringing the nationwide total to 234, including six deaths.

The last general election in 2015 brought the National League for Democracy party of Aung San Suu Kyi to power after more than five decades of military rule.

The election commission has said that more than 37 million people will be eligible to vote.

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NEW DELHI — India’s COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The country registered 9,304 new cases in yet another record single-day spike in infections, raising its totals to 216,919 cases with 6,075 deaths, the Health Ministry reported today.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said it was ramping up the testing across the country and has performed 4 million. It said the daily capacity was almost 140,000 tests done through 480 government and 208 private laboratories.

India’s infections have spiked in recent weeks, mostly in its cities. The coastal state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected, with 74,860 cases and 2,587 deaths. The state capital is densely crowded Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.

India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the pandemic.

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — Authorities in Norway have turned down applications to hold rallies in the country’s three largest cities in support of protests in the U.S. over the police killing of George Floyd, citing coronavirus social distancing.

Rallies were planned in Oslo, Bergen and Trondheim but local authorities said that without a dispensation from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, they cannot allow more than 50 people to gather in one place, said Mohamed Awil, the president of the African student association UiO.

The association is co-organizing the rally in Oslo, where more than 15,000 people said they planned to take part in the demonstration today outside the U.S. Embassy. He said they were considering an alternative but details were not immediately available.

Thousands gathered Wednesday in support rallies in the capitals of Sweden and Finland.

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JOHANNESBURG — Testing materials remain in short supply across Africa, but the head of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a new platform to pool the continent’s purchasing powers has obtained about 15 million coronavirus testing kits for the next six months.

John Nkengasong said Africa’s 54 countries are still far behind the goal of conducting at least 10,000 tests per 1 million people. He said just about 1,700 tests are being carried out per million compared to about 37,000 per million in Italy and 30,000 per million in the UK.

Nkengasong said 3.4 million tests have been conducted so far across Africa, which has a population of 1.3 billion people, and testing capacity is “increasing very, very rapidly.” Africa’s numbers are rising steadily as testing improves, with a 31 percent increase in new confirmed cases since last week. The continent’s confirmed cases are now above 162,000, representing less than 3 percent of the global cases.

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MOSCOW — The United States has delivered another batch of ventilators to Russia as part of a $5.6 million humanitarian donation to help the country cope with the pandemic.

The U.S. Embassy said the second shipment of U.S.-manufactured breathing machines arrived in Moscow today, following a batch delivered last month.

Russia has reported more than 441,000 coronavirus infections, including 5,384 deaths. Officials have scrambled to secure ventilators and other essential supplies.

Russia sent a planeload of medical supplies, including ventilators, to the U.S. in April. Russia’s state investment fund said this week it fully funded the delivery.

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MEXICO CITY — The coronavirus toll in Mexico has soared to a new daily high, with the health department reporting 1,092 deaths. That is more than double the previous one-day record and in line with numbers in the United States and Brazil.

Wednesday’s report was an embarrassment for officials, who have consistently predicted that cases in Mexico were about to start leveling off.

Officials rushed to say many of the new confirmed deaths had occurred days or even weeks ago and were being announced now because of delays in processing tests or other reasons. But such delays have presumably been a constant reflected in every previous daily tally.

Assistant Health Secretary Hugo López-Gatell did not cite any specific clearing of testing backlogs.

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BERLIN — Germany’s auto industry says that car sales in the country remained very weak in May despite the reopening of showrooms and the easing of other coronavirus restrictions.

The German Association of the Automotive Industry, or VDA, said this that 168,100 cars were registered last month, 50 percent fewer than a year earlier. That’s a bit better than the 61 percent drop recorded in April.

Exports were even weaker. The VDA said 105,100 cars were exported in May, 67 percent fewer than a year earlier. While production has picked up in Germany after being all but halted at the height of European lockdowns, it was still down 66 percent, with 151,100 cars produced.

A 130 billion-euro ($146 billion) stimulus package drawn up Wednesday by the German government includes an increase in financial incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles. There are no incentives for cars with conventional engines, though the main value-added tax rate is being cut from 19 percent to 16 percent for six months in a bid to spur purchases across the board.

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NEW DELHI — India’s COVID-19 fatalities have passed 6,000 after registering 260 deaths in the last 24 hours.

The country registered 9,304 new cases in yet another record single-day spike in infections, raising its totals to 216,919 cases with 6,075 deaths, the Health Ministry reported today.

Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said it was ramping up the testing across the country and has performed 4 million. It said the daily capacity was almost 140,000 tests done through 480 government and 208 private laboratories.

India’s infections have spiked in recent weeks, mostly in its cities. The coastal state of Maharashtra continues to be the worst affected, with 74,860 cases and 2,587 deaths. The state capital is densely crowded Mumbai, India’s financial and entertainment capital.

India is the seventh worst-hit nation by the pandemic.

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JAKARTA — Authorities in Indonesia’s capital will ease a partial lockdown as the world’s fourth most populous nation braces to gradually reopen its economy.

Jakarta Gov. Anies Baswedan announced the reopening of mosques, churches and temples on Friday but only at half capacity.

Offices, public transport. restaurants, grocery stores and beaches will be allowed to operate, also at half capacity. Malls and parks are scheduled to reopen in mid-June and schools remain shut this month.

Baswedan said the decision to reopen follows a significant decrease in the number of infections in recent days. He said everyone except the elderly, children under age 5, pregnant women and sick people will be allowed to leave their homes wearing masks.

Jakarta has recorded 7,690 confirmed cases with 523 deaths, while the toll nationwide stands at 28,818 infections and 1,721 fatalities.

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MADRID — Spain says restrictions on land border crossings with France and Portugal will be lifted from June 22.

Under special measures imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus, only residents, cross-border workers and truck drivers were allowed since mid-March.

Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto also said 6,000 German tourists are expected to test new safety measures for travelers in the Mediterranean Balearic islands in mid-June, as the country prepares to fully reopen to international tourism on July 1. The tourists will have their temperatures checked and will fill out health questionnaires on arrival. They also will be encouraged to use a contact-tracing mobile app that authorities want to test in the archipelago.

Maroto said building trust in a safe destination is key for the recovery of tourism, an industry that generates 12 percent of Spain’s GDP and helps employ 2.6 million people.

The COVID-19 outbreak has claimed at least 27,000 lives and infected just over 240,000 people in Spain.

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GENEVA — The top U.N. human rights official is urging some Asia-Pacific governments to be proportionate in their efforts to stop the spread of misinformation about the coronavirus outbreak and warning of a “clampdown” against freedom of expression in the region.

The office of Michelle Bachelet, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, cited a “further tightening of censorship in several countries” and the arbitrary arrest and detention of people who had either criticized their governments or shared information about the pandemic.

Her office said arrests for expressing discontent or allegedly spreading false information had been reported in a dozen countries: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

It cited information from China about more than a dozen cases of medical workers, academics and other citizens who “appear to have been detained, and in some cases charged” for publishing their views on the outbreak or airing criticism of the government’s response.

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