EU borders will remain open as COVID-19 spreads to Austria, Switzerland and Croatia

EU borders will remain open as COVID-19 spreads to Austria, Switzerland and Croatia
 Closing Europe's borders would be "excessive and ineffective" against COVID-19, European ministers agreed on Tuesday, despite the announcement of the first cases in some EU countries.

European authorities were on high alert Monday as the first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Spain, Austria and Croatia.

Coronavirus News Update:

The number of victims in Italy is 11, while the number of infected is 322.

In the Tenerife islands, 1,000 tourists were not allowed to leave the hotel where an Italian with symptoms of the virus was staying.

A school in England has been closed after students returning from a ski trip to northern Italy.

Austria confirmed the first two cases that are being held in a hospital in Innsbruck and that a hotel near the city has been quarantined.

The Croatian case is of a man who had traveled to Turin.

In Switzerland, authorities confirmed the first case in the Italian-speaking Tessian canton, near the border with Italy.

The number of deaths in Iran has jumped to 15 while 95 people have been infected, including the head of the coronavirus task force.

This comes as the WHO has called on states to take action to "avoid a possible pandemic".

Italy is trying to tackle the highest number of infections in a country outside Asia, with 22 cases confirmed so far. Italy was also the first EU member state to lose a citizen because of the virus.

The EU has pledged to donate 230m euros to fight the spread of the virus in Italy and elsewhere, but said it would not impose travel or trade restrictions yet.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom told reporters in Geneva on Monday that it was not the right time to declare the COVID-19 pandemic and declared it a public health emergency, the highest level of alarm.

"The use of the word 'pandemic' now does not meet the criteria," he said, "but it certainly causes panic. Using the word will not prevent any new infections or save lives."

Italy tries to fight against the spread of COVID-19



Italy has isolated at least 10 cities in the Lombardy region and the epicenter of Venice, Vo'Euganeo.

Police have added checkpoints to quarantined cities and police have intervened to help the long queues of citizens in supermarkets, as many residents have rushed to buy food under the quarantine order.

Sicily announced a new case of coronavirus on Tuesday, a woman who had been on vacation in the north. She and her husband are put in isolation.

Italy's Chief of Civil Protection Angelo Borrelli has called on Italians to abide by the two-week quarantine rules.
EU borders will remain open as COVID-19 spreads to Austria, Switzerland and Croatia EU borders will remain open as COVID-19 spreads to Austria, Switzerland and Croatia Tuesday, February 25, 2020 Rating: 5
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