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France Locks Down As Global Virus Panic Spreads


France goes right into a near-total shutdown Tuesday over the coronavirus, the most recent nation to impose draconian restrictions affecting the lives of tens of thousands and thousands of individuals.

European leaders additionally plan to ban all non-essential journey into the continent on Tuesday in a bid to stem a pandemic that has upended society, battered markets and killed 1000’s all over the world.

With French President Emmanuel Macron describing the battle towards COVID-19 as a “war”, governments all over the world are scrambling to maintain the general public protected with measures hardly ever seen in peacetime, slamming borders shut and forcing residents to remain house.

The disaster is infecting each sector of the financial system, and world shares have been on a rollercoaster trip, with Wall Road on Monday sinking greater than 12 p.c within the worst session because the crash of 1987.

Traders are nonetheless in panic mode, regardless of emergency interventions by central banks and governments to shore up confidence.

After the preliminary outbreak in a Chinese language metropolis in December, Europe has emerged because the epicentre of the virus with extra deaths now recorded exterior China than inside.

COVID-19 has now killed greater than 7,000 individuals worldwide, together with over 2,100 in Italy, the worst-hit nation exterior China.

READ ALSO: Philippines Suspends Inventory Market Commerce Over Coronavirus Fears

Greater than 180,000 instances have been recorded in 145 nations.

The top of the World Well being Group referred to as Monday for each suspected coronavirus case to be examined, one thing which might ship the recognized tally of the sick sky-rocketing.

“You cannot fight a fire while blindfolded,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus instructed journalists. “Test, test, test. Test every suspected case.”

In a sombre handle to the nation, Macron ordered the French to remain at house for 15 days from noon Tuesday, banning all non-essential journeys or social contacts.

Most retailers, eating places and vacationer websites on the planet’s most visited nation are already shuttered.

About 100,000 police and gendarmes can be out on the streets to implement the measures, after Macron warned violations could be punished.

“We are at war, a public health war certainly. We are fighting not against an army or another nation. But the enemy is there, invisible and elusive and on the move,” he stated.

With European nations already closing their borders, European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen stated she would ask the leaders of the bloc’s Schengen visa-free border zone to cease all non-essential journey into the realm.

“Concretely, all trips between non-European countries and EU countries will be suspended for 30 days,” Macron stated.

This follows a ban on inbound journey to america, whose President Donald Trump steeled the nation for a combat towards the virus that he warned might final months.

US well being officers stated the primary human trial to guage a attainable vaccine had begun, though it could be one other 12 months to 18 months earlier than it turns into accessible.

French pharmaceutical large Sanofi and American drugmaker Regeneron additionally stated that they had began scientific trials for a brand new drug, Kevzara, an immuno-suppressor.

In one other small glimmer of hope, China reported only one new home case on Tuesday — however discovered 20 imported from overseas.

– ‘Apocalyptic vibe’ –

Trump stated he was asking People to limit gatherings to teams of fewer than 10 individuals — because the streets of New York and the capital Washington stood largely abandoned.

One buyer at a French restaurant in Brooklyn stated she felt the strikes have been unprecedented.

“I want strong leadership, but it’s scary. I’ve never experienced anything like this before and I don’t think my parents have, I don’t think anyone has,” Kelly McGee instructed AFP.

“There’s something about being in this apocalyptic vibe and being with other people and experiencing it together that I think I still crave.”

Trump acknowledged america “may be” heading right into a recession as a result of virus, as G7 leaders vowed to coordinate their response to the virus and “do whatever it takes, using all policy tools” — after a gathering held through videoconference.

Each sector from tourism to meals to aviation is affected, as the worldwide financial system successfully goes into shutdown.German large VW on Tuesday joined different European automobile makers in closing down crops and main world airways have axed virtually all flights briefly, triggering pleas to assist carriers survive.

Italy introduced plans to renationalise nationwide provider Alitalia, whereas France stated it was additionally able to nationalise massive firms if vital.

There are rising doubts too over the European soccer championships set to happen in 12 nations this summer time and the Olympics in Japan, because the virus shreds the sporting calendar.

Only a few nations have been left untouched by the virus because it continues its relentless march throughout the globe, and a cascading quantity are taking more and more drastic responses.

Britain referred to as for an finish to all “non-essential” contact and journey, whereas Switzerland declared a state of emergency.

Germany banned gatherings in church buildings, mosques and synagogues and stated playgrounds and non-essential retailers would shut.

Tens of thousands and thousands of individuals in Southeast Asia have been ordered into efficient house quarantines, with Malaysia and the Philippines asserting unprecedented lockdowns.

In India, the world’s second-most populous nation, the place most colleges and leisure amenities have already shut down, the Taj Mahal was closed to guests.


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