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Europe tightens restrictions to contain virus

Mar 23, 2020

London (United Kingdom), Mar 23: European countries are tightening restrictions to fight the coronavirus.
In Italy, the number of fatalities increased by over 650 on Sunday to surpass 5,400. The country also reported about 5,500 new infections, bringing the total to more than 59,000.
The government is strengthening its lockdown. All businesses not producing essential goods and services have been ordered to close.
Spain has extended a state of emergency after the national coronavirus death toll jumped about 30 percent in one day to reach 1,720.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Sunday that the state of emergency will be extended until April 11. The Spanish government says it will keep restrictions on people's movements in place, and will take measures such as converting hotels into makeshift hospitals.
The French government has tightened measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus by raising the penalties for people who fail to comply with restrictions on movement.
The Greek government imposed a curfew from Monday requiring people to stay at home except for essential travel. It says violators will face a fine.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday called on people to refrain from going out except for essential travel such as commuting and going to hospitals. She also said restaurants will be only allowed to provide delivery and takeout services.
Merkel later went into self-quarantine as she learned that the doctor who vaccinated her against pneumonia on Friday had tested positive for the coronavirus.
A government spokesperson says Merkel will carry out her duties from home.
Source: NHK World