Coronavirus: Seven European countries that have had their first deaths in the past 24 hours

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Two people sit at a distance from each other in the main terminal of Brussels International Airport (AP)

Coronavirus

Seven European countries have recorded their first death from coronavirus on Wednesday.

A total of 15 countries in Europe have recorded more than 900 Covid-19 deaths since February.

Thursday was the virus’s deadliest day in Europe so far with 235 deaths recorded in 13 different European countries.

Seven of those countries – Sweden, Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Albania, Bulgaria and Poland – had their first coronavirus deaths since the virus first started spreading outside of China.

Coronavirus cases across Europe. (PA)

There have been more than 127,000 cases of coronavirus across the globe, with a total of 4,717 deaths, since the outbreak begun, according to John Hopkins.

Restrictions

Countries around the world are attempting to limit the spread, with widespread restrictions taking place in some areas.

Italy has ordered all shops, bars, restaurants and non-essential services to close until 25 March.

Public services and industrial production are permitted to continue, so long as employers ensure safety measures to protect their staff.

A travel ban and other measures strictly limiting movement remains in place until 3 April.

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Danish prime minister Mette Fredericksen said day-care centres in the country would be closed from Monday and university and school students sent home from Friday.

She also urged all events with more than 100 people to be cancelled, tightening the number from 1,000 previously.

Ireland’s Taoiseach Leo Varadkar announced on Thursday morning that schools in the country will close for two weeks from Friday.

Boris Johnson is holding a Cobra meeting on Thursday to determine what the next steps the UK government will take to stop the spread of the illness.

It is expected that the government will officially move the response into the ‘delay’ phase – meaning measures including banning large gatherings and closing some schools could be implemented.

The rise of coronavirus in Europe. (PA)

US travel ban

Reacting to Donald Trump’s announcement of a 30-day ban on all travel to the US from the Schengen border-free travel area of Europe, chancellor Rishi Sunak said there is not currently the evidence to suggest that imposing travel bans will have any effect on the spread of coronavirus.

Sunak told the BBC on Thursday that the government will take the "right steps at the right time", but there is not yet the evidence to support a move to close borders in the UK or put travel restrictions in place.

Donald Trump speaks in an address to the nation from the Oval Office at the White House about the coronavirus. (AP)

EU reaction

Trump's decision to restrict travel has been criticised by scientists, security analysts and the European Union.

In a joint statement on the travel ban, European Council president Charles Michel and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said they "disapproved" of the decision.

They said: "The coronavirus is a global crisis, not limited to any continent, and it requires co-operation rather than unilateral action.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen criticised Donald Trump's coronavirus travel ban (AP)

"The European Union disapproves of the fact that the US decision to impose a travel ban was taken unilaterally and without consultation. The European Union is taking strong action to limit the spread of the virus.”

Trump said the restrictions would not apply to the UK, and a list of 26 affected countries published on the US Homeland Security website also confirmed Ireland is not among nations subject to the ban.

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