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Virus death toll passes 500,000 as US and Brazil cases surge

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Virus death toll passes 500,000 as US and Brazil cases surge

Global infections have also risen to more than ten million. The global death toll from the coronavirus pandemic has topped half a million, as surging cases in Latin America and the United States prompted some authorities to reconsider lifting lockdown measures.

In another grim milestone, the number of infections recorded worldwide rose to more than 10 million, according to an AFP tally, complicating efforts to ease restrictions on debilitated economies.

Los Angeles ordered its bars to close again on Sunday as COVID-19 rampages across the US, which has recorded more than 125,000 deaths and 2.5 million cases — both around a quarter of the global totals.

The second hardest-hit country Brazil registered 259,105 infections in the seven days through Sunday — the country’s highest of any week during the pandemic.

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The latest figures came as protesters in cities across Brazil — and as far away as Stockholm, London and Barcelona — held demonstrations against President Jair Bolsonaro, who has said the virus is akin to a "little flu" and railed against stay-at-home measures.

"Brazil is suffering immense pain, a hidden pain that throbs in the face of the incredible numbers of deaths caused by COVID-19," the organisers of a protest in the capital Brasilia said.

– ‘Profound shock’ – As bars closed in LA, Ireland’s pubs began pouring pints for the first time in 15 weeks, as Europe — still the hardest-hit continent — continues to open up after seeing numbers of new cases fall."Guinness is good for you," quipped Mark O’Mahony — the first to order a pint with his breakfast at a Dublin pub. "Without it, it hasn’t been much good really for […]

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