COVID-19 Outbreak - Europe takes stricter measures to contain virus

Added On March 18, 2020

 Countries in Europe are beefing up stricter control and prevention measures to contain the raging novel coronavirus outbreak.

 
News Hour has the details.
 
EU PROPOSES TRAVEL RESTRICTION
 
The EU has proposed a temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the region, as escalations have been seen in both COVID-19 cases and containment measures.
 
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH): URSULA VON DER LEYEN, European Commission President
"I proposed to introduce temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU. These travel restriction should be in place for an initial period of 30 days, which can be prolonged as necessary.
Some EU countries have also announced they will close the external borders of the EU to cut off the cross-border transmission of the virus.
 
FRANCE TOUGHENS ANTI-VIRUS MEASURES
 
France widened steps already taken to fight "a sanitary war" against the COVID-19 pandemic, ordering border closures, air traffic suspension, tougher restriction on movements and also penalties for offenders.
 
In a televised address to the nation, French President Emmanuel Macron said starting from Tuesday noon and for at least two weeks, people across French cities can only move out for reasons of work, health needs or shopping of necessities.
 
The president said all breaches of these rules will be penalized.
 
France has confirmed 6,633 coronavirus infection cases and 148 deaths by Monday evening.These figures represent 1,210 new cases of infection and 21 additional deaths in one day.
 
GERMANY INTRODUCES TOUGH MEASURES
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday announced new tough measures to contain the outbreak of the coronavirus, closing all shops except pharmacies and supermarkets.
 
Merkel believed that tough measures are needed to limit social contacts as much as possible.
The number of the confirmed cases has climbed to over 6,000 in the country as of Monday afternoon.
 
ITALY APPROVES 25-BLN-EURO ANTI-VIRUS DECREE
 
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced the Italian government has approved a 25-billion-euro decree,which they dubbed the "Cure Italy Decree", to shore up the national health care system.
 
Conte said in a nationally televised address that "Italy is on the frontlines" and that "we want Europe to follow us down this path."
 
As of Monday, the total number of infections in the country has climbed to more than 23,000.
 
UK PM URGES PEOPLE TO AVOID NON-ESSENTIAL CONTACT
 
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged the people, especially residents of the hardest-hit London, to avoid "non-essential contact" in fighting the spread of novel coronavirus.
 
The prime minister also asked people to "avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues."
 
He said the British government will no longer be "supporting" mass gatherings using emergency workers from Tuesday.
 
The prime minister made the remarks on Monday just hours after the country confirmed a total of 1,543 people have tested positive for the virus since the outbreak.