France into near-total lockdown

Updated: 18 March, 2020 08:34 IST | Agencies | Paris

More than 7,000 people killed worldwide, including over 2,100 in Italy, the worst-hit country outside China

People queue in front of a pharmacy in Strasbourg, eastern France on Tuesday. Pic/AFP
People queue in front of a pharmacy in Strasbourg, eastern France on Tuesday. Pic/AFP

France moved into a near-total lockdown on Tuesday over the Coronavirus, the latest country to impose draconian restrictions affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world. European leaders also plan to ban all non-essential travel into the continent on Tuesday in a bid to stem a pandemic that has killed thousands, upended society and battered economies.

The crisis is infecting every sector of the economy, and global stocks have been on a rollercoaster ride, with Wall Street on Monday sinking more than 12 per cent in the worst session since the crash of 1987. 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.

COVID-19 has now killed more than 7,000 people worldwide, including over 2,100 in Italy, the worst-hit country outside China, and more than 1,80,000 cases have been recorded in 145 countries. In a sombre address to the nation, Macron ordered the French to stay at home for 15 days from midday Tuesday, following similar measures by other European countries.

China records just one case
China on Tuesday began the withdrawal of thousands of doctors and medical staff from Wuhan after the epicentre of the Coronavirus outbreak reported just one confirmed case. With mixed feelings of containing the dreaded COVID-19 but sad over deaths of thousands of people, the first batch of medical assistance teams started leaving Hubei province early on Tuesday as the epidemic outbreak in the hard-hit province has been subdued, official media reported.

Over 3,600 medical staffers belonging to 41 medical teams from across China have assisted 14 temporary hospitals and seven designated hospitals in Wuhan. The overall confirmed cases on the mainland had reached 80,881 by the end of Monday. This includes 3,226 people who died of the disease, 8,976 patients who were still being treated, 68,679 others discharged.

No. of countries affected by Coronavirus

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First Published: 18 March, 2020 07:40 IST

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