The World Health Organization speaks of a “very delicate situation”: the coronavirus continues to spread unchecked, meanwhile there are cases on all continents. The WHO calls on all countries to take action.
The government in Tehran is calling on its citizens to cancel trips that are not absolutely necessary. A ban on cultural events, conferences and cinema screenings has been extended by one week. Friday prayers were also canceled, according to Iranian state television. Until further notice, Chinese citizens are not allowed to enter Iran.
Pragmatism in Europe
In Europe, Corona is now leading to an unexpected rapprochement: Italian Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte received French President Emmanuel Macron in Naples to discuss how to deal with the virus. The meeting is the first government consultation since 2017 – the relationship between neighboring EU countries has recently cooled noticeably in the dispute over the handling of refugees.
In France, a second patient had died of the coronavirus on Wednesday night; Italy is by far the largest focus of disease in Europe. Despite the crisis, Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio campaigned for foreign tourists: “Our children go to school. When our children go to school, tourists and business people can come,” said Di Maio.What this pigeon friend paid for his mask in Milan is not known – prices are rising in Italy
To date, the coronavirus has occurred in approximately every second EU member state. Spain has now reported 17 cases of infection, 15 of which have occurred since the beginning of the week. A hotel with around 700 guests has been cordoned off on the island of Tenerife for days because vacationers have tested positive for the virus. Some of the more than 100 German guests asked the federal government in an online petition to bring them home. According to information from the Spanish news agency EFE, 130 international guests are now to be flown out.
Germany is taking action
After a wave of new infections, the German government has set up a crisis team in which the ministries for health and home affairs play a leading role. 20 new infections in five federal states have been known since Thursday evening. Bavaria has been free of coronavirus since Thursday: The last of the 14 patients who contracted an automotive supplier in January was discharged from the hospital.
The situation in North Rhine-Westphalia is most tense: A couple from the Heinsberg district, who are now being treated in the hospital, were at a carnival party just two weeks ago – apparently symptom-free but contagious. Other cases are due to contact with the two spouses. Out of caution, hundreds of guests of the celebration and their partners, children and roommates were put under domestic isolation. This also applies to children from the kindergarten where the sick woman works. Schools and kindergartens in the district remain closed, sporting events have been canceled.
The government put new measures in place to better track the virus: travelers who arrive by plane, train or bus from the countries most affected will have to write down information on exit cards in the future. Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn appealed to the elderly to be vaccinated against the flu, which is also rampant at this time of year – in order to avoid life-threatening double illnesses. According to Spahn, Germany is transferring an additional 50 million euros to WHO for the fight against the virus.