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Asia Today: Australian police make arrests at rallies

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Police arrest a man as people gather at a so-called "Freedom Day" protest in Melbourne, Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020. Police in Australia's hardest-hit Victoria state are urging people to stay away from rallies protesting the lockdown in Melbourne. (James Ross/AAP Image via AP)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Police in Australia's hardest-hit state of Victoria made several arrests among a crowd of about 300 people protesting the lockdown in Melbourne, as the country's death toll rose to 748.

Victoria reported 11 more deaths and 76 new infections.

The Melbourne restrictions, including a night curfew, were put in place in an attempt to reduce a huge spike in infections and deaths.

Police earlier urged people to adhere to restrictions on community movement. But four men were arrested and charged with incitement over the so-called “Freedom Day” protests planned for several Melbourne locations.

Police, many of them on horseback, later made a number of arrests among protesters, some of them for not wearing masks.

Government officials are expected to announce on Sunday how and when Melbourne and regional Victoria will come out of respective stages of lockdowns.

In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region:

— India’s coronavirus cases crossed 4 million on Saturday, closing in on Brazil’s total as the second-highest in the world. The 86,432 cases added in the past 24 hours pushed India’s total to 4,023,179. Brazil has confirmed 4,091,801 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Health Ministry on Saturday also reported 1,089 deaths for a total of 69,561. Most of the cases are in western Maharashtra state and the four southern states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka. But new surges are being recorded in the country’s vast hinterlands.