(Reuters) - Coronavirus cases in Latin America, the region of the world worst affected by the pandemic, exceeded 6 million on Friday and continued to accelerate, according to a Reuters tally, as most of its nations begin to relax lockdown measures.
DEATHS AND INFECTIONS
* For an interactive graphic tracking the global spread, open https://tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser.
* For a U.S.-focused tracker with state-by-state and county map, open https://tmsnrt.rs/2w7hX9T in an external browser.
* Eikon users, see MacroVitals (cpurl://apps.cp./cms/?navid=1592404098) for a case tracker and summary of news.
* Germany's health minister criticised "party holidays" and defended a decision to declare nearly all of Spain, including the tourist island of Mallorca, a coronavirus risk region following a spike in cases there.
* Coronavirus outbreaks are happening across Europe and each country has to make its own decisions on how to halt them, Spain's foreign minister said on Friday.
* The chairman of Ireland's tourism authority, former Ryanair Chief Operating Officer Michael Cawley, resigned after going on holiday to Italy, contrary to government advice to avoid non-essential travel abroad.
* French Catholics defied coronavirus woes and marched in a procession on Friday towards the Notre-Dame Cathedral as part of a weeks-long pilgrimage even as the government declared Paris a high-risk zone.
* Almost half of Brazilians think President Jair Bolsonaro bears "no responsibility at all" for the country's more than 100,000 dead from the pandemic, the world's second highest death toll, according to a new Datafolha poll.
* California became the first U.S. state to surpass 600,000 COVID-19 cases on Friday and the Midwest saw several record one-day rises as some states struggled to contain the pandemic even as a few welcomed students back to school campuses.
* New Zealand reported seven new coronavirus cases as a lockdown in the country's biggest city, Auckland, was extended on Friday in response to the country's first outbreak in months.
* New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is set to decide by Monday whether a general election will go ahead on Sept. 19, with most analysts expecting her to resist opposition calls for a delay due to the flare-up in infections.
* Alibaba-owned supermarket chain Freshippo said it has shut 21 off its Shenzhen stores and was is requiring all its employees in the city to undergo coronavirus tests after three cases were found at one of its outlets there.
MIDDLE EAST AND AFRICA
* The government and prime minister of Equatorial Guinea tendered their resignation on Friday to President Teodoro Obiang, who said they had not done enough to help the country at a time of crisis, authorities said in a statement.
* Tunisia's tourism-dependent economy shrank 21.6 pct in the second quarter of 2020, compared to the same period last year, due to the pandemic, the state statistics institute said.
* Russia has produced the first batch of its new vaccine for COVID-19, the Interfax news agency quoted the health ministry as saying, hours after the ministry reported the start of manufacturing.
* The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said its updated isolation guidance does not imply that a person is immune to re-infection with coronavirus.
(Compiled by Frances Kerry)