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Authorities in Rio de Janeiro have announced that the city’s shopping malls will stay open 24 hours a day during the Christmas period. 

This forms part of the country’s bid to stop the spreading of the coronavirus with hopes that overcrowding will not happen. 

AFP reports that this move goes against the recommendations of scientists who are advocating new restrictions in the Brazilian city, given a worrying increase in COVID-19 deaths and infections.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Brazil is the country with the second-highest death toll rate due to COVID-19. The United States is still on top of the list with the highest death toll rate.

During a press conference, Rio’s mayor, Marcelo Crivella, said that "with shopping centres open 24 hours a day, the population will not need to rush to them".

The move has taken effect over the weekend and will remain in force throughout the month of December.

With many countries either moving towards, or already in, their second wave, the WHO has expressed its concerns about countries that are not strict enough.

The city has also cancelled its world-famous carnival scheduled for early next year.

Image credit: Al Arabiya

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