Follow the updates on coronavirus:
European countries are on high alert as coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading rapidly across the region.
The novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), which emerged in China in December last year has already led to approximately 3,200 deaths and over 93,000 infections, marking its spread to at least 78 countries, as of 4 March.
Although Europe reported its first Covid-19 case nearly one month after China alerted WHO on the outbreak, it soon became the second-most coronavirus impacted region after the Asia Pacific, to date.
China, the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, is the most affected country worldwide, followed by South Korea in the Asia Pacific region.
The Covid-19 spread in Europe has intensified between 25 and 28 February, with as many as 20 European countries recording their first or additional cases.
Of all the European countries with confirmed coronavirus cases, Italy recorded the highest number of coronavirus Covid-19 infections, followed by France and Germany.
Commenting on the situation in Italy, WHO regional director for Europe Dr Hans Kluge said: “This presents a significant challenge for the Italian authorities. I have been personally assured that your fellow citizens are all working hand in hand and making every effort to contain and prevent transmission of the disease.”
On 2 March, the European Union increased the coronavirus risk level from moderate to high.
At a press conference, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said: “The ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control) has announced today that the risk level has risen from moderate to high for people in the European Union. In other words, the virus continues to spread.”
Below is the list of countries affected by novel Covid-19 in Europe.
– Italy is the hard-hit country in Europe, reporting a total of 2,502 confirmed cases and 79 deaths.
– The nation’s first two positive coronavirus cases were reported on 30 January, while the first death occurred on 22 February.
– Majority of the infections are concentrated in Lombardy and Veneto regions. Several other countries in Europe traced new cases to Italy.
– The government locked down several towns and cancelled major events to control the spread of the virus. Israel is the first country to ban visitors from Italy.
– Germany confirmed a total of 196 cases. The first case was reported on 28 January in a man in Starnberg. The patient was said to have contracted the infection via human-to-human transmission.
– At a press conference on 27 February, Health Minister Jens Spahn said that Germany is at the start of a coronavirus epidemic after authorities failed to trace sources of infection.
– On 28 February, the country experienced a surge of nearly 20 cases and quarantined hundreds in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
– A total of 204 confirmed cases and four deaths have been reported in France.
– On 24 January, the country reported its first two Covid-19 cases, also the first in Europe. The first death occurred on 15 February, marking the first casualty outside Asia.
– President Emmanuel Macron warned on 27 February that a coronavirus epidemic is coming in France. Reporting a surge of 20 cases that day, Health Minister Olivier Véran said that the country is making necessary preparations for an epidemic.
United Kingdom (UK)
– The UK government confirmed a total of 51 cases. The first two cases were reported in England on 31 January in members of the same family.
– The UK Secretary of State announced new regulations to deal with the coronavirus spread, which has been categorised as a serious and imminent threat to public health.
– On 28 February, first cases were confirmed in Northern Ireland and Wales regions.
– A total of 165 cases have been recorded in Spain, which confirmed its first case on 01 February. The nation recorded its first coronavirus-related death on 03 March.
– Majority of the confirmed cases are said to be Italians or people with a travel history to Italy. On 27 February, health authorities launched an investigation into suspected cases of domestic transmission.
– On 25 February, a tourist hotel with nearly 1,000 tourists was placed under quarantine after an Italian guest tested positive.
– The country confirmed 56 positive cases of Covid-19, which was first reported on 25 February in a 70-year-old national who recently visited Milan, Italy.
– Based on an assessment, the Federal Office of Public Health said on 27 February that coronavirus poses a moderate risk in the country.
– Austria reported a total of 21 cases, with its first two cases confirmed on 25 February in Tyrol province that shares a border with Italy.
– A total of seven people have tested positive for coronavirus infection in Croatia. The first case was confirmed on 25 February as a man who stayed in Milan, Italy from 19 to 21 February.
– Russia has had three cases of coronavirus so far. The first cases were confirmed on 31 January in Chinese nationals.
– The country also reported on 26 February three positive cases among evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantine in Japan, according to news agency TASS.
– Finland has confirmed a total of six positive cases of Covid-19. The nation reported its first case of the coronavirus infection on 29 January.
– The second case was reported on 26 February in a female national who had recently visited Milan, Italy.
– A total of 30 confirmed cases have been reported in Sweden. The Swedish Public Health Authority reported the first case on 31 January.
– On 27 February, five new cases were confirmed, of which one was infected in Iran, which is the most affected Middle East country to date.
– Denmark reported four cases of Covid-19. The first case of coronavirus infection was confirmed on 27 February.
-The first case is a man who recently returned from a holiday in northern Italy. The patient is under isolation at his home.
– A total of 13 cases have been confirmed in Belgium.
– The country reported its first coronavirus case on 04 February after one of the nine individuals repatriated from Wuhan tested positive for the virus.
– Greece reported a total of seven positive coronavirus cases. The first case was confirmed on 26 February as a 38-year-old citizen who visited northern Italy.
– Also, the child of the first case has tested positive on 27 February. The elementary school the child attends will be closed for 14 days as a precautionary measure.
– The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Norway stands at 32.
– The Norway Institute of Public Health confirmed the first case on 26 February in a person who returned from China. The female patient was asymptomatic.
– The nation reported a total of three people infected with the novel coronavirus.
– The Georgian Health Minister confirmed the first coronavirus case on 26 February. The patient returned to the country from Iran via Azerbaijan.
– On 29 January, the country restricted flights to and from China and on 23 February, it banned air travel to and from Iran.
– North Macedonia confirmed the first case on 26 February. The patient is a woman who recently travelled to Italy and had been sick for two weeks.
– Upon returning to North Macedonia, the patient reported to the Clinic for Infectious Diseases in Skopje.
– Four confirmed cases of coronavirus infection have been reported in Romania.
– The nation reported its first Covid-19 case on 26 February in a man who was in contact with an Italian diagnosed with the virus. The Italian, who visited Romania between 18 and 22 February, was diagnosed after returning to Italy.
– Estonia reported a total of two confirmed Covid-19 cases.
– The first coronavirus case was reported in Estonia on 27 February. The infected person is reported to be a citizen of Iran.
– The Netherlands reported 24 Covid-19 cases. The first case of coronavirus infection was reported on 27 February in a person who had recently visited the Lombardy region of Italy.
– A total of ten coronavirus infection cases have been confirmed in the country, including one death.
– San Marino reported its first Covid-19 case on 27 February. The patient is an 88-year man who was already receiving treatment at a hospital in Rimini.
– The first case in Belarus was announced on 28 February in a student from Iran. The patient’s samples were tested at the Republican Research and Practical Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology.
– Czech Republic confirmed a total of five cases of coronavirus infection.
– The country’s first three cases of the coronavirus on 01 March. All three patients had a travel history to northern Italy.
– The nation confirmed two Covid-19 cases. The first coronavirus case was reported in Ireland on 29 February. The infected person is a male who recently travelled to Italy.
– Luxembourg confirmed its first case on 29 February in a male in his 40s who recently arrived from Italy.
– Monaco reported the first Covid-19 on 28 February. The patient is being treated at the Princess Grace Hospital.
– The total number of confirmed cases in Iceland stands at 11. The first case was reported on 28 February in a man in his 40s who visited northern Italy.
– Portugal reported a total of four cases of novel coronavirus infection.
– The nation recorded its first two cases on 02 March. The first patient is said to be a man who recently visited Italy and another one in a man who returned from Spain.
– The Center for Disease Prevention and Control in Latvia confirmed the first case on 02 March.
– The first case is a woman who returned from Italy along with her child. The woman is showing mild symptoms , while her child tested negative and had been placed under quarantine.
– The country announced the first case on 02 March in a 20-year-old man who arrived from Milan, Italy.
– Liechtenstein reported the first positive of Covid-19 on 03 March. A second test is being conducted to confirm the test results.
– The first patient is said to have had contact with an infected person in Switzerland.
– The country confirmed the first coronavirus case on 03 March. The patient returned from a visit to Italy.