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Brazil Moves Past Britain, Becoming Country with 2nd Highest COVID Deaths

A caregiver checks elderly man at the Sao Francisco de Assis shelter for the elderly, where nine residents with symptoms of the coronavirus disease have been placed in isolation, according to the shelter, in Sao Joao do Meriti, Brazil, June 12, 2020.

Brazil has moved past Britain to become the country with the second-highest COVID-19 death toll. The South American country’s death tally early Sunday was 42,720, while Britain’s was 41,747, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The U.S. count of 115,436 deaths keeps the country at the top of the list.

Johns Hopkins reports the number of coronavirus cases around the world is steadily climbing toward the 8 million mark.

The U.S. has more than 2 million cases, followed again by Brazil with more than 850,000 infections. Russia has the third-highest number of cases, with more than 519,000.

China reported 57 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, its highest one-day total in two months. Thirty-six locally transmitted cases were detected in Beijing. China reported 45 positive cases Saturday.

Most of the cases in Beijing have been traced to a wholesale seafood and produce market. Officials said Saturday the new cases in the capital have placed the city in a ‘’wartime emergency mode.” The market, the largest wholesale agricultural market in Asia, and its surrounding neighborhoods are on lockdown.

Beijing officials plan to test 10,000 people for infection. A city spokesman said sports events and plans to reopen schools Monday will be suspended and the National Theatre and Yonghe temple will be closed.

More than 20,000 rugby fans in New Zealand were allowed into a sports stadium Saturday without masks or social distancing. New Zealand has not recorded a new case of coronavirus in three weeks.

Spectators watch the Super Rugby Aotearoa rugby game between the Highlanders and Chiefs in Dunedin, New Zealand, June 13, 2020.
Spectators watch the Super Rugby Aotearoa rugby game between the Highlanders and Chiefs in Dunedin, New Zealand, June 13, 2020.

“It's a world first and it’s a payoff for all the hard work of 5 million New Zealanders,” Sports Minister Grant Robertson told the Associated Press.

A European pharmaceutical giant reached agreement Saturday with an alliance of European countries to supply those nations with up to 400 million doses of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca struck a deal with the Inclusive Vaccines Alliance, established by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, to accelerate production of a vaccine being tested by the University of Oxford that may be available by year’s end.

Saturday’s agreement aims to make the vaccine available to other European countries that wish to participate in the initiative.

AstraZeneca previously reached similar deals with Britain; the Serum Institute of India; the U.S.; the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, which works to develop vaccines for future epidemics; and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance — aimed at providing access to new and underused vaccines for children in the poorest countries.