Eiffel tower

Eiffel Tower, Louvre and cafes closed as France and Spain lock down

Spanish authorities said the number of infections had exceeded 5,700, half of them in the capital, Madrid. This represents a national increase of more than 1,500 in 24 hours. The country has recorded 136 deaths, down from 120. Spain has the fifth highest number of cases, behind China, Italy, Iran and South Korea.

Shoppers packed supermarkets in Spain in the morning despite pleas for calm from authorities. But overall, the normally busy streets of the country’s two largest cities were noticeably quieter as the message got through that social distancing is the only way to stop the pandemic.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and his wife Begona Gomez, who tested positive for the new coronavirus. Credit:PA

“We had to close and stay closed for 15 days,” said restaurant owner Rachel Paparardo in Barcelona, ​​which was already under regional restrictions. “But it’s nothing. It’s just so more people don’t get infected and we can get over it.”

Some flights to Spain have been turned back as news of the lockdown spread.

A Jerusalem District Court announced on Sunday that it was postponing the criminal trial of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for two months on fraud and other charges due to restrictions resulting from the outbreak.

The United States and other Western countries have acted to prevent their health systems from collapsing under the workload.

Paris followed other cities in closing major tourist attractions, and France announced the closure of all restaurants, cafes, theaters and non-essential shops from Sunday. France has recorded at least 3,600 infections. He banned all gatherings of more than 100 people, ordered all schools closed and asked companies to allow workers to stay at home.

France pushed ahead with plans for nationwide municipal elections on Sunday, but ordered special measures to keep people apart and to disinfect surfaces. Voters were asked to bring their own pen to sign the voting record.

In Italy, the hardest-hit European country, the death toll topped 1,400 and infections jumped around 20% overnight to more than 21,000 due to what authorities said was behavior irresponsible from people who continue to socialize despite the nationwide lockdown. Many Italian cities, including Rome and Milan, have also decided to close playgrounds and parks.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said production – especially of food and health products – must not stop. On Saturday, union and industry leaders reached an agreement to keep factories operating.

But luxury sports car maker Ferrari said it was suspending production at two factories, citing concerns for its employees and serious disruptions in the flow of supplies.

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At noon, people across Italy stepped out onto their balconies, terraces or gardens or leaned out of their windows to clap for several minutes in thanks to the medical workers.

In Britain, the death toll nearly doubled from the previous day to 21, and the number of people infected rose to more than 1,100. Ireland had 90 confirmed cases and one death on Friday. The total number of infections in Greece has approached 230 with three deaths, and police there on Saturday arrested 45 traders for violating a ban on operations.

The United States has reported 51 deaths – including the first in New York – and more than 2,100 cases. In hard-hit Washington state, where 37 people have died and 560 have been infected, officials said the disease is straining the supply of protective equipment available to medical providers despite government shipments federal.

For most people, the coronavirus only causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older people and people with existing health conditions, it can cause more serious illnesses, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover within a few weeks.

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European countries have taken steps to isolate themselves from their neighbours.

Denmark has closed its borders and halted passenger traffic to and from the country. Travelers will be turned away at the border if they cannot prove they have “a legitimate reason” to enter – for example, if they are Danish citizens or residents.

“I know that the overall list of measures is very extreme and will be considered very extreme, but I am convinced that it is worth it,” Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said.

Poland planned to close its borders at midnight and deny entry to all foreigners unless they live in Poland or have personal ties there. The Czech Republic and Slovakia have taken similar measures. Lithuania said it was introducing border controls with Poland and Latvia.

Russia has said its borders with Norway and Poland will be closed to most foreigners from Sunday.

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In the Middle East, Iran’s death toll has reached 611, with nearly 13,000 infections, including top government officials.

In the Pacific, New Zealand has announced that incoming passengers, including citizens, will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, with some exceptions.

In the Philippines, thousands of police, backed by the military and coast guard, began sealing off the densely populated capital of Manila to most domestic travelers on Sunday in one of Asia’s most drastic lockdowns. Southeast against the virus. Authorities also announced a nighttime curfew in the metropolitan area of ​​12 million people.

The measures increasingly mirror those taken by China, which in January quarantined more than 60 million people, starting with the epicenter, Wuhan, in Hubei province.

The spread of COVID-19 in China has slowed significantly, according to the National Health Commission. After reporting thousands of new cases a day just a month ago, the commission said on Saturday there were 13 new deaths and only 11 new cases, including people who had recently arrived in China from other affected countries such as Italy.

Wuhan is now the only city in Hubei still designated as “high risk”. Several municipalities in Hubei are gradually resuming public transport and reopening businesses. Parks, museums and art galleries have reopened in Shanghai.