May 22, 2020 / 12:04 PM / 8 days ago

Brazil's biggest state brings forward holiday to contain coronavirus spread

A woman wearing a protective face mask sunbaths in Ipanema beach amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, May 22, 2020. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Lawmakers in Brazil’s biggest state of Sao Paulo have decided to bring forward to Monday a holiday scheduled for July 9, in an attempt to strengthen social distancing and contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The move on Friday adds to efforts already made by the city of Sao Paulo, which had earlier this week brought forward two holidays.

The state of Sao Paulo has 73,739 confirmed cases of COVID-19, nearly one quarter of the country’s total toll, and 5,558 deaths caused by the disease.

Reporting by Eduardo Simoes, writing by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Toby Chopra

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