France, Germany, Romania ban gatherings of more than 1000 people in anti-Covid-19 moves

France’s government announced Sunday it would ban public gatherings of more than 1,000 people in efforts to slow the spread of Covid-19. (Photo courtesy: Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes)

(, Mar09’20) – The novel coronavirus epidemic which broke out in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in Dec 2019 and spread rapidly across China and internationally has now invaded over 101 countries and territories by Mar 8 morning, reported Mar 8,citing the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Covid-19 epidemic has now infected 109,499 people and killed 3,816 across the world, while 62,176 had recovered as of Mar 9 at 4:32 PM Hong Kong time, according to data compiled by

The confirmed infections and deaths on mainland China accounted for 80,735 and 3,119 respectively.

However, while China continues to report sharp declines in both the numbers, the epidemic’s global spread continues at a menacing pace especially in some countries, prompting radical curtailment measures.

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South Korea continues to have the highest number of infections outside mainland China, but only just, at 7,382 with 51 deaths. The increases have slowed in recent days.

Italy has seen sharp increases in both infections and deaths, reaching 7,375 and 366 respectively. The hardest-hit country in Europe started to lock down the northern Lombardy region and 14 nearby provinces since Mar 8 morning, affecting 16 million people – more than a quarter of the country’s population. The lockdown will continue until April 3. The Chief of Staff of the Italian Army, Salvatore Farina, was reported to have tested positive for the Covid-19 infection.

Iran, the third worst hit country outside mainland China, had 6,566 confirmed cases and 194 deaths.

France, the second worst hit country in Europe had 1,126 confirmed cases and 19 deaths. Health Minister Olivier Veran announced on Mar 8 a temporary ban on public gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

In Germany, which had the third highest number of infections in Europe at 1,112, but no death, Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn recommended that events with more than 1,000 participants be canceled for the time being.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship was reported to have 696 confirmed cases and 8 deaths so far, seeing no increases over the previous day’s figures.

Other countries and territories with confirmed cases and deaths as of Mar 9 at 4:32 PM Hong Kong time included Japan, (488, 6), Spain (430, 8), the United States (415, 21), Switzerland (281, 2), the United Kingdom (273, 3), the Netherlands (265, 3), Hong Kong (114, 3), Australia (80, 3), Iraq (54, 4), Thailand (48, 1-unchanged), Egypt (48, 1), Taiwan (45, 1-unchanged), San Marino (36, 1), the Philippines (10, 1-unchanged), and Argentina (9, 1).

Other countries and regions with 10 or more confirmed infections, but no death, as of Mar 9 at 4:32 PM Hong Kong time included Sweden (203), Belgium (200), Norway (169), Singapore (150), Austria (112), Malaysia (99), Bahrain (85), Greece (66-unchanged), Kuwait (62), Canada (60), Iceland (53), the UAE (45-unchanged), India (42), Israel (39), Denmark (31),  Vietnam (29), Lebanon (28), Czech Republic (26), Grand Princess cruise ship off San Francisco (21-unchanged), Portugal (21), Algeria (20), Brazil (19), Finland (19), Ireland (19),Occupied Palestinian territory (16), Oman (16-unchanged), Ecuador (14-unchanged), Croatia (12), Qatar (12) Slovenia (12), Saudi Arabia (11), Macao (10-unchanged), Estonia (10-unchanged) and Russia (10).

Romania has banned all activities involving more than 1,000 people, both indoors or outdoors. And Saudi Arabia has announced Mar 8 that schools and universities in the kingdom will be suspended.

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In mainland China, the National Health Commission (NHC) has reported thus far lowest figures of 40 new confirmed cases and 22 deaths on Mar 8 night, taking the total confirmed cases to 80,735 (including 19,016 still being treated, 58,600 discharged after recovery, and 3,119 deaths).

The new confirmed cases included 36 from Hubei Province which also accounted for all the 21 latest deaths.

Mainland China also reported 60 new suspected cases, taking the total to 421.

China also said that among the 15,826 hospitalized patients, 4,101 were still in severe condition and another 890 were in critical condition as of Dec 8 night.

China said Mar 9 that it had four imported cases of Covid-19 infection on the mainland on Mar 8, all of them in Gansu Province, taking the total of such cases to 67.


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