Global coronavirus death toll nears 500,000: Live updates

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Italy has registered the lowest day-to-day tally of COVID-19 deaths on since March 1, a week before the country went into nationwide lockdown. There were eight additional deaths reported, raising the nationwide fatalities to 34,716. There were 175 new cases, bringing the overall count to 240,136.

The US reported at least 2.5 million cases of the new coronavirus, an increase of more than 44,000 cases from its previous count, according to the Johns Hopkins University tally. The death toll has already reached more than 125,000.

Brazil recorded 38,693 new cases of the novel coronavirus in the past 24 hours and 1,109 additional deaths, the Health Ministry said. The nation has now registered 1,313,667 total confirmed cases of the virus and 57,070 deaths.

More than 9.94 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, while more than five million have recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University. At least 497,000 people have died.

Here are the latest updates:

Sunday, June 28 00:30 GMT - Serbian defence minister, speaker test positive of coronavirus

Serbia

People suspected to have coronavirus disease stand in front of the Hospital for Infectious and Tropical Diseases of the Clinical Center of Serbia in Belgrade on Friday [Marko Djurica/Reuters]

The Serbian government says Defense Minister Aleksandar Vulin has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The Defense Ministry says in a statement issued on Saturday that Vulin has no symptoms of the virus and is feeling fine.

Vulin, known for his highly pro-Russian stance, was part of Serbia’s delegation led by President Aleksandar Vucic that attended a Victory Day parade this week in Moscow. Vucic met face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but it was not clear whether Vulin did so as well.

Maja Gojkovic, the speaker of Serbia’s parliament, also tested positive, according to the state Tanjug news agency on Saturday.

Serbia has so far registered more than 13,500 cases and 265 deaths from COVID-19.

00:10 GMT - Brazil to jointly produce vaccine with Oxford, drug company

The Brazilian government has announced an agreement with Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to produce a promising coronavirus vaccine that is undergoing tests.

Brazilian Health Ministry authorities said in a news conference on Saturday that the country will pay $127m and receive material to produce 30.4 million doses in two batches in December and January, which would allow it to quickly start inoculation efforts if the vaccine is certified to be safe and effective.

The total deal is for 100 million vaccines for a country of about 210 million residents. It will be produced by local vaccine maker Fiocruz.

British researchers started testing the experimental shot in May aiming to immunise more than 10,000 people, including older people and children. The vaccine is one of about a dozen in the early stages of human testing.

Brazil, where coronavirus infections are still on the rise, counts more than one million confirmed cases and more than 55,900 fatalities.

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Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera's continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For all the key developments from yesterday, June 27, go here. 

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