- The EU Commission provides 37 billion euros of emergency aid for the economy.
- US President Donald Trump considers a postponement of the Olympic Games possible.
- In addition to the United States, numerous other countries have issued travel bans or restrictions for affected countries.
- Outside of Italy, several areas have now been declared a restricted area for the first time: an area with 70,000 inhabitants in Catalonia and two areas in western Austria.
- An overview of the typical symptoms can be found here.
Austria places the entire Paznaun Valley with the municipalities of Ischgl, Kappl, See and Galtur as well as the municipality of St. Anton am Arlberg under quarantine. Foreign guests may leave the corresponding places in Tyrol but should go to home quarantine at home. Besides, all stores across the country that are not necessary for basic services will remain closed. Likewise bars, restaurants, and cafes: these may only be open until 3 p.m. The grocery trade, banks, pharmacies, shops for animal feed and other necessary shops should remain open says, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. All employees who can do so should work from home. The measures are initially valid for one week. It was announced on Thursday that the schools would be closed. This should apply until Easter.
EU supports an economy with billions of euros
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen promises that, depending on the situation, the EU is ready to do everything necessary to combat the coronavirus epidemic. It announces that it will launch an investment initiative worth EUR 37 billion. There should be more flexibility in debt limitation rules and state aid. It was not possible to stop the virus, but its spread had to be slowed down. “I am convinced that the European Union can withstand this shock.”
In the event of an economic downturn due to the coronavirus crisis, the Commission wants to suspend the European fiscal rules. This would be done in agreement with the EU countries, said Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis in Brussels on Friday. The Commission expects the European economy to shrink this year. Growth will “fall below zero, possibly significantly,” said a Commission official.
Trump wants to massively expand tests for the virus
US President Donald Trump announces an expansion of corona tests. Very soon, “on a very large scale” will be tested, he writes on Twitter. All bureaucratic hurdles have been removed. “Ready to go.” He does not give details of the process. In the United States, there were doubts about the number of cases, since fewer people were tested compared to other countries.
Trump can also imagine the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo to be canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Maybe, but that’s just my opinion, postpone it by a year,” Trump said in a White House media round. He did not want to advise the organizers in Japan. “You can decide that on your own.” He, Trump said, would find a shift better than playing the games in front of empty ranks. The Summer Games are scheduled to take place from July 24th to August 9th.
IOC President Thomas Bach has so far stuck to the games. If the World Health Organization WHO advises the International Olympic Committee to cancel, the IOC will follow suit, Bach said in the ARD’s “Daily Topics”. “We listen to the advice of the World Health Organization, which is the group of experts responsible for all of these issues.”
A region in Spain now restricted area
For the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis, an area in Spain has been declared a restricted area. The almost 70,000 inhabitants of the neighboring Catalan communitiesIgualada, Vilanova del Camí, Santa Margarida de Montbui, and Òdena are not allowed to leave the restricted area around 60 kilometers northwest of Barcelona since 9 p.m. on Thursday. This measure initially applies to 14 days, said the Catalan regional government. The police are officially monitoring compliance with the quarantine. But people are allowed to leave their homes. In the affected area, the number of infections rose from 20 to 58 within a few hours on Thursday. Three people who were infected had already died in Igualada Hospital.
Trump had on Wednesday because of the coronavirus, a ban on entry to the United States from all countries of the European Schengen area adopted. It applies to Friday for 30 days, Trump said in a speech to the nation. Americans who undergo appropriate tests are exempt. The infections in the US are due to travelers from Europe, he said. The President said the government and the private sector in the United States would take all measures to protect the American people.
Risk areas worldwide
On the website of the Robert Koch Institute as of Thursday morning – are – following international regions as risk areas listed:
- in China: Hubei Province including the city of Wuhan
- in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
- in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine, and Champagne-Ardenne)
Also, many other countries have travel bans or restrictions issued for German nationals and other affected States. Singapore no longer allows passengers to enter the country who have been in Germany, Italy, Spain or France in the past 14 days. Argentina cannot be flown from Europe, the USA, and China for 30 days. El Salvador and Guatemala currently no longer allow entry, so far there has been no case in the two Latin American countries. Saudi Arabia, Bhutan, Jamaica, and Kazakhstan are also currently blocked. Only those who can prove that they are in quarantine for the first 14 days are allowed to enter Israel. There are also other countries.
EU leaders abruptly reject Trump’s criticism
The leaders of the European Union are responding to the criticism of US President Donald Trump with clear words. The latter had accused the EU of not responding quickly enough to the threat posed by the virus. In a short statement, only three sentences long, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel write:
“The coronavirus is a global crisis that is not confined to one continent and requires cooperation rather than unilateral action. The European Union disapproves of the fact that the United States’ decision to ban travel was unilaterally and without consultation. The European Union is taking strong measures to limit the spread of the virus. “
Wife of Canada’s Prime Minister Trudeau infected with coronavirus
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s wife has contracted the coronavirus. Sophie Gregoire Trudeau had tested positive for the virus, but she was fine, Trudeaus said. She had previously returned from a trip to the UK with flu-like symptoms. The prime minister himself has no symptoms, but will remain in quarantine for 14 days as a precaution, it said. From his house, he wanted to make appointments in conference calls and video switches.
New York City announces a state of emergency – first case with the United Nations
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has declared a state of emergency over the metropolis. “We see intense increases in the number of cases in the city,” said de Blasio. “I think we’ll be at 1,000 cases next week.” The Metropolitan Museum, Carnegie Hall and the New York Philharmonic had previously announced that they would close and cancel events starting Friday. The famous St. Patrick’s Day parade planned for March 17 has also been postponed.
The United Nations headquarters is also located in New York. The first Corona case has also occurred there. A Philippine diplomat has been tested positive, according to an internal letter from the UN mission, which is available to the German Press Agency. The entire Philippine UN mission is cordoned off, the employees are in voluntary quarantine. “We assume that we were all infected,” it continues. The case could affect precautionary measures throughout the UN headquarters.
Diocese of Rome closes all churches – no access for believers
The diocese of Rome closes all churches until April 3 due to the Corona crisis. The diocese published a corresponding decision by Cardinal Vicar Angelo De Donatis on its website on Thursday evening. This means that public fairs are not only prohibited in Rome – as has been the case throughout Italy for days. From now on, the faithful are also denied access to the Roman churches. So far, this was still allowed despite the virus crisis, for example, to say a silent prayer.
ECB adopts a package of measures
The European Central Bank (ECB) is taking a comprehensive package of measures to combat the economic consequences of the coronavirus crisis. Among other things, there should be new emergency loans for banks and higher bond purchases, as the central bank announced on Thursday in Frankfurt. The key interest rate in the euro area remains at a record low of zero percent.
China sees the peak epidemic overcome
China has passed the peak of coronavirus spread, according to the Beijing Health Commission. “Overall, the peak of the current epidemic in China has passed,” said a spokesman for the commission on Thursday. The number of new infections with Sars-CoV-2 continues to decrease.
WHO classifies spread like a pandemic
The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially classified the spread of the new coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 as a pandemic for the first time since Wednesday. According to the WHO, Covid-19 diseases have now been recorded in 115 countries worldwide. More than 4300 people have died.
That said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva. A pandemic is understood to mean a global outbreak of a new disease. The number of cases outside of China has increased 13-fold in the past two weeks, said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We are deeply concerned about both the alarming levels of spread and severity and the alarming levels of inactivity.”