Europe to mark WWII anniversary despite virus crisis

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(Paris) – A continent devastated by the coronavirus will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe, as the economic destruction of the current global crisis was laid bare.

Large-scale parades that had been envisaged to commemorate victory over the Nazis have been downsized as the world grapples with a fearsome new enemy that has killed 277,000 people and sickened more than 3.7 million.

While parts of Europe appeared to be over the hump of new infections, the United States´ death toll showed no signs of slowing, and Brazil warned of chaos with the pandemic running out of control.

“Within about 30 days, there may start to be shortages on shelves and production may become disorganised, leading to a system of economic collapse, of social disorder,” Economy Minister Paulo Guedes said.

Brazil is Latin America´s worst-affected nation, with more than 135,000 infections and 9,100 confirmed deaths, although experts say the true figures are far higher.

But far-right President Jair Bolsonaro opposes stay-at-home measures to slow the spread, saying they are unnecessarily damaging the economy.

US President Donald Trump is also pushing for lockdowns to be lifted, as he tries to steady the economy ahead of November polls.

“This country can´t stay closed and locked down for years,” he said Thursday, as the US death toll topped 75,500.