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Protesters gather outside the Louisiana State Capitol during a rally against Louisiana’s stay-at-home order and economic shutdown

Protesters gather outside the Louisiana State Capitol during a rally against Louisiana’s stay-at-home order and economic shutdown

Getty Images

A policeman in a mask, as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus, patrols Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand

A policeman in a mask, as a preventive measure against the spread of coronavirus, patrols Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand

AFP via Getty Images

A biologist cleans the enclosure of Humboldt penguins at the closed aquarium in Barcelona

A biologist cleans the enclosure of Humboldt penguins at the closed aquarium in Barcelona

AFP via Getty Images

French Gardes republicains mounted gendarmes check for mobility documents outside a supermarket in Courseulles-sur-Mer, Normandy

French Gardes republicains mounted gendarmes check for mobility documents outside a supermarket in Courseulles-sur-Mer, Normandy

AFP via Getty Images

An employee disinfects a hall at the Kazansky railway station in Moscow, Russia

An employee disinfects a hall at the Kazansky railway station in Moscow, Russia

AP

Protesters gather outside the Louisiana State Capitol during a rally against Louisiana’s stay-at-home order and economic shutdown

The coronavirus pandemic has infected more than 2.1 million people worldwide and more than 140,000 deaths have been recorded.

Here is the latest on the situation from around the world:

CZECH REPUBLIC: The country will allow religious services to start again as it eases restrictions imposed to contain the pandemic.

Healthcare minister Adam Vojtech said religious gatherings in churches will restart on April 27 with a maximum of 15 people, but they will have to keep a distance from one another. The number of worshippers will be allowed to grow in the following weeks.

UNITED STATES: A report has identified numerous New York state nursing homes where multiple patients died over the past few weeks.

Nineteen of the state's nursing homes have each had at least 20 deaths linked to the pandemic, the report said. One Brooklyn home was listed as having 55 deaths. Four homes, in the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island, were listed as having more than 40.

The report's release came after days of reports about homes so stricken by the virus that bodies had to be stacked inside storage rooms while families struggled to get information about isolated loved ones.

RUSSIA: President Vladimir Putin is prodding top officials to move faster to prepare for a surge in coronavirus cases.

Speaking on a conference call with federal official and regional governors, he told them to "act faster and more energetically" to secure ventilators, protective gear and other essential supplies. He warned Russia is yet to see a peak of infections, adding Moscow was the first to face soaring numbers of infections and "the problem is spreading into the regions".

Russia has registered 32,008 coronavirus cases and 273 deaths.

FRANCE: At least 940 people aboard a French aircraft carrier and its escort ships have been infected with the virus.

The total number of positive cases is expected to grow because some test results are still pending, the head of the military health service, Maryline Gygax Genero, told a Senate hearing.

Among those infected are two of four US sailors serving on the Charles de Gaulle as part of the US Navy's exchange programme.

Those infected represent more than a third of the 2,300 military personnel aboard the Charles de Gaulle and its escort ships.

SWEDEN: Princess Sofia, the 35-year-old wife of King Carl XVI Gustaf's oldest son, has joined the ranks of those helping the health sector fight coronavirus.

She had undergone a three-day medical course at a Stockholm university that allowed her to assist healthcare workers at a private hospital in the Swedish capital.

The institution has been relieving hospitals by handling surgery, primarily in cancer. Sofia wrote on Instagram on Wednesday: "I support and relieve the care staff with various tasks, including care of patients and cleaning."

ITALY: The national institute of health says a partial survey of nursing homes has found more than 6,000 residents have died since February 1 - about 7% of residents nationwide.

The number of dead is only a fraction of the total since the survey was based on data from a third of 3,000 nursing homes contacted, which in turn are home to only a third of the estimated 280,000 elderly living in assisted care facilities nationwide.

The estimate is the best guess Italian authorities have about the huge toll of nursing home dead in the European epicentre of the pandemic, most of whom are not included in the official death toll because they were never tested.

SPAIN: The official gazette has published a government order for the country's 17 autonomous regions to unify the criteria on counting the dead in the coronavirus pandemic.

The government says it is following World Health Organisation guidance and insists on counting only those who die having tested positive for the virus, whether or not they showed symptoms and no matter where they died.

That figure on Thursday rose above 19,000, with more than 188,000 infections, but the accounting system leaves out patients who died with symptoms but were not tested.

Belfast Telegraph