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Slovenia Declares Official End To Its Coronavirus Epidemic

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As more than 200 countries continue to fight the devastating coronavirus, Slovenia has become the first European country to declare an official end to its epidemic.

"Today Slovenia has the best epidemic situation in Europe, which enables us to call off the general epidemic," Prime Minister Janez Jansa said on Thursday, even as new infections are being reported in the mountainous nation of two million.

"Since the danger of spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus remains, some general and special measures will remain in force," the government said in a statement.

Public gatherings are not allowed and social distancing rules and mask wearing are mandatory in public.

A total of 1,464 people were infected and 103 people died in Slovenia since its onset two months ago, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University, updated at 10:45 am on Friday.

The Balkan state, which borders Italy, has seen only a handful of daily cases in the past fortnight.

Travelers from any EU country will no longer be required to quarantine on arrival in Slovenia.

The deadly virus that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan in December has spread to nearly every continent, threatening communities as case numbers continue to rise.

Authorities in 214 countries and territories have reported more than 4,444,000 novel coronavirus cases and more than 300,000 deaths.

Japan is lifting its state of emergency everywhere except in the country's eight most populous prefectures, which include Tokyo and Osaka.

Desperate stories are emerging from inside Russian hospitals, where doctors are reportedly falling ill at an alarming rate.

Russia has announced a total of 252,245 confirmed coronavirus infections, more than any other country except the United States. Even so, President Vladimir Putin lifted a nationwide lockdown on Monday, saying that the country's hospitals were prepared and that doctors had everything they needed.

The French government protested the suggestion that the U.S. would get first access to a coronavirus vaccine being developed by the French pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

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