Europe locks down as global virus panic spreads

PARIS (HRNW) – European leaders plan to ban all non-essential travel into the continent on Tuesday, the latest drastic attempt to curb the coronavirus pandemic that has upended society, battered markets and killed thousands around the world.

With French President Emmanuel Macron describing the battle against COVID-19 as a “war”, governments around the world are imposing restrictions rarely seen in peacetime, slamming borders shut and forcing citizens to stay home.

The crisis is infecting every sector of the economy and Wall Street stocks on Monday sank more than 12 percent in the worst session since the crash of 1987, despite emergency interventions by central banks and governments to shore up confidence.

After the initial outbreak in a Chinese city in December, Europe has emerged as the epicentre of the virus with more deaths now recorded outside China than inside.

Italy — Europe’s hardest-hit nation — announced another surge in deaths, taking its overall toll to more than 2,000, in a worldwide total of more than 7,000.

More than 175,530 cases have been recorded in 145 countries.


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