Due to the spread of the novel coronavirus, all schools and universities in Italy will remain closed until March 15th. The country most affected within the EU is reacting to the Sars-CoV-2 epidemic. The theaters and cinemas will also be closed.

This emerges from a corresponding decree, which Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed late Wednesday evening. So far, schools have been closed, especially in northern Italy, because the virus is particularly active there. So far around 3100 people have been infected with Sars-CoV-2 in the country, 107 died from the disease caused by the pathogen Covid-19.

The President of the German Conference of Ministers of Education does not believe that a comparable approach is necessary for this country. Postponing the vacation dates is also not an issue, said Stefanie Hubig of the “Neue Osnabrucker Newspaper” (Thursday).


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In parts of Greece, schools are said to be closed, at least temporarily. The Ministry of Health announced immediate measures for two regions on the Peloponnese peninsula and Zakynthos island on Wednesday evening. Schools, theaters, cinemas, and archaeological sites are said to be closed there for 48 hours. The reason is a Greek tour group – the 56 tourists had visited Israel and Egypt, upon their return a 66-year-old participant of Covid-19 fell ill.

No more kisses from coronavirus

Italy’s head of government called on people to keep a distance of at least one meter, to avoid hugs and kisses. “We are a strong country. A country that doesn’t give up, ”he said in a video message. “We are all in the same boat.” Most of the people would recover.

The reason for drastic measures such as school closings is to guarantee the care of all patients in clinics. If the number of infections increased rapidly, care for those who needed intensive care could not be guaranteed. Not only schools, but kindergartens, and universities are also closed. Sports events of all kinds, including first division football matches, must also be held without an audience.

In China, another 31 people fell victim to Covid-19 lung disease. As the Beijing Health Commission announced on Thursday, all-new victims were registered in the particularly hard-hit province of Hubei, where the novel coronavirus had originally broken out in the metropolis of Wuhan. In addition, 139 newly confirmed infections with the pathogen were added.

More than 3,000 people have died from the virus in mainland China so far. According to official information, 52,045 of a total of 80,409 people have been cured so far. Infections have now been confirmed worldwide.

The climax has not yet been reached

In Germany, politics continues to contain the disease. Federal health minister Jens Spahn emphasized that the number of cases must continue to increase. “The peak of the spread has not yet been reached.” The pathogen Sars-CoV-2 has now been detected in all federal states except in Saxony-Anhalt. By Wednesday afternoon, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) had counted 262 infections.

The federal government now wants to procure protective clothing centrally for medical practices, hospitals, and federal authorities, in addition to other parties involved, as was reported to the government after consultations by the crisis team. The export of medical protective equipment abroad is prohibited by order of the Ministry of Economy.

The Federal Government plans to provide up to 325 million euros for further crisis measures. According to the Bundestag, the Budget Committee was informed of corresponding unscheduled expenses on Wednesday. Accordingly, up to 250 million euros are to be used for the procurement of protective equipment and up to 25 million euros for information and educational measures. As already known, Germany also wants to support the World Health Organization with 50 million euros.

Some affected countries, which have so far largely fought the spread of the coronavirus alone, have announced that they want to join forces. On Wednesday, France’s head of state Emmanuel Macron agreed with US President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on joint action against the coronavirus epidemic.

Coronavirus leads to bankruptcy

Macron had tweeted in the evening that there was a willingness to coordinate the “scientific, health and economic response” to the virus during the US G7 presidency. According to media reports, Macron wanted to receive around 30 doctors, scientists, and laboratory managers for an interview on Thursday.

UK Prime Ministers Johnson and Macron have also agreed to work together on an international response to combat the spread of Sars-CoV-2, Downing Street said. The British regional airline Flybe has filed for bankruptcy. The already stricken airline could no longer withstand the decline in travel demand caused by the coronavirus. “All flights remain on the ground and the business is closed with immediate effect,” explains the airline.

Israel has issued new entry requirements for fear of Covid-19 spread. Tourists from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, and Spain are no longer allowed to enter, the Israeli radio reported on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, other major events are canceled. This is how the organizers of the Hannover Messe postpone the world’s largest industrial show. The industry meeting with around 6,000 exhibitors, which was planned for April, was postponed to July 13-17. After the book fair in Leipzig, the London book fair was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

In France, the organizers canceled the MIPTV trade fair, which was planned to take place in Cannes from late March to early April. The associated CannesSeries competition will be postponed to October, it said in a message on Twitter.

Business demands state aid

The German gastronomy and hotel industry is demanding state aid due to severe business losses. Hotels, event caterers and restaurants are “massively affected” by the cancellations of major events and trade fairs, said the managing director of the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (Dehoga), Ingrid Hartges, the newspapers of the Funke Mediengruppe (Thursday editions). It should not be allowed to “destroy livelihoods”.

Hartges said that companies in the catering and hotel industry were particularly affected by the spread of the coronavirus. But hotels and restaurants in small and medium-sized cities also increasingly complained about the cancellations of corporate events. There were also no new bookings from business travelers. By contrast, private demand, with the exception of regions that are badly affected, is comparatively stable.

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