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EU to seal borders amid COVID-19 crisis

LONDON, March 18, 2020

The European Union is sealing its borders and banning the entry of all foreign travellers for 30 days as the COVID-19 situation worsens, said a report.
 
The measure is expected to apply to 26 EU states as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. UK citizens will be unaffected, said a report in the BBC.
 
The ban came as deaths continued to soar in Italy and Spain, and France began a strict lockdown.
 
Europe has been badly hit by the virus, which has killed 7,500 globally, the report said.
 
The travel ban will affect all non-EU nationals from visiting the bloc, except long-term residents, family members of EU nationals and diplomats, cross-border and healthcare workers, and people transporting goods.
 
The number of confirmed cases in Spain has soared by 2,000 to 11,178. Authorities there are maintaining a partial lockdown on 47 million people. It is now the European country worst-affected after Italy.
 
Italy, which has registered the most cases outside China at more than 31,500, announced another surge in deaths on Tuesday, from 2,150 to 2,503. The country remains in lockdown, the report said.
 
Iran remains the world's third-worst-affected nation, after China and Italy. More than 16,000 people are confirmed as infected and 988 have died, although some analysts believe the figures are far higher than officially reported, it said.
 
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) called on member states in South-East Asia region to urgently scale-up aggressive measures to combat COVID-19 as confirmed cases neared 500 and it claimed eight lives.
 
"The situation is evolving rapidly. We need to immediately scale up all efforts to prevent the virus from infecting more people," said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.
 
Eight of the 11 countries of WHO South-East Asia Region have confirmed cases of COVID-19. Thailand has 177 confirmed cases, Indonesia 134, India 125, Sri Lanka 19, Maldives 13, Bangladesh 5, Nepal and Bhutan one each. These numbers are increasing quickly.
 

 




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