Coronavirus continue march across Europe
With all continents but Antarctica now touched by the deadly coronavirus, on Thursday the virus' foothold in Europe continued to grow.
The worst hit country in Europe, Italy, now has more than 400 coronavirus cases, according to local media.
The death toll in Italy has risen to 12, according to the latest figures released Wednesday by the country's head of civil protection.
The Lombardy region is the worst-hit, as nine people have died and 259 have been infected.
Attilio Fontana, Lombardy's governor, said on social media that he will be in self-quarantine for two weeks as a precaution after one of his close colleagues tested positive.
Four minors, ranging in age from 4 to 15, tested positive for the coronavirus in Lombardy and have been hospitalized, local media reported Wednesday.
Bookings in Italy fell 60% and tourist cancellations reached 90% due to the virus outbreak.
The outbreak also affected football, as fans will not be admitted to the San Siro Stadium in Milan for an Inter-Ludogorets UEFA Europa League match set for this evening.
-DENMARK, SWEDEN, FINLAND, NORWAY
One person tested positive for coronavirus in Denmark, local media reported Wednesday.
The man infected with the virus had been on ski holiday in northern Italy, said Danish daily Politiken.
According to the reports, his wife and son tested negative.
"We will do everything we can to prevent the disease from spreading in Denmark," said Health and Elder Minister Magnus Heunicke, Politiken reported.
According to Sweden's Public Health Agency, one man who also visited Italy tested positive for coronavirus late Wednesday.
A Finnish woman also tested positive with COVID-19 on Wednesday evening, according to local media.
The woman had been in Milan, the Helsinki University Hospital (HUS) said, according to Finland's national public broadcasting company Yle.
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health also confirmed the first coronavirus case in the country.
The institute said the patient visited China last week, but is not in critical condition.
Georgia confirmed its first coronavirus case on Wednesday.
Ekaterine Tikaradze, the minister of health and social affairs, announced that a Georgian national who returned from Iran via Azerbaijan on Tuesday had contracted the virus.
Urging calm, Tikaradze said border staff who inspected the infected man at the border gate were also taken to the hospital for medical exams.
Neighboring Turkey, which so far has no reported cases of the virus, said Thursday that it will check the passports of truck drivers at the Georgian border for possible visits to the worst-hit countries such as Iran, Italy, and South Korea.
The U.K. confirmed two new coronavirus cases on Thursday.
"Two further patients in England have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number of UK cases to 15," said a statement by Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty.
"The virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife, and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS infection centers in Royal Liverpool Hospital and the Royal Free Hospital, London," he added.
The Swiss Federal Office of Public Health on Thursday confirmed three new COVID-19 cases in the country.
The pushed up the total number of confirmed cases in Switzerland to four.
Two new coronavirus cases were confirmed in Germany on Wednesday: a 47-year-old man in North Rhine-Westphalia who is in critical condition, and another man in the state of Baden-Wurttemberg.
More than 18 cases have been confirmed in Germany so far, but to date no deaths, and several patients have now been discharged from hospital after treatment.
Greece confirmed its first case of coronavirus in the port city of Thessaloniki.
A 38-year-old woman who recently traveled to Italy was diagnosed with the virus, the Health Ministry reported Wednesday.
The woman's family will also be quarantined for 14 days, the ministry added.
- WESTERN BALKANS
Croatia reported two cases of the coronavirus-a man who visited Milan and his brother.
The first case of the virus in North Macedonia was confirmed Wednesday from a woman who visited Italy last month.
Health Minister Venko Filipce said the patient, born in 1970, was placed in the isolation ward of the Infectious Diseases Clinic in Skopje.
Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski stressed that the situation is under control and all civil services are fully prepared.
Meanwhile, three Chinese nationals in Bosnia and Herzegovina's capital Sarajevo tested negative for the virus.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic told a press conference that there are no cases in the country and all institutions are ready.
France reported two deaths from the coronavirus and 18 new cases on Wednesday.
A Frenchman age 60 died at a hospital in Paris, said Jerome Salomon, France's director-general of health.
The new cases include a 55-year-old man hospitalized in Amiens, northern France who is said to be "in a serious clinical situation."
Other patients-including two men who separately visited Lombardy and a young Chinese woman who returned to France on Feb. 7-are not considered to be in serious condition, said Salomon.
Landlocked Austria, which borders Italy to the south, also confirmed a new case of the virus on Thursday, bringing the total to three.
A woman who visited Italy last week tested positive and was quarantined.
Romania also confirmed its first coronavirus case on Wednesday.
All people living with the patient have tested negative, and the patient's condition is not critical, the country's Health Ministry said.
Spain on Thursday confirmed the first locally transmitted case, as a 62-year-old man who has been in a Seville hospital since Feb. 20 tested positive.
The total of confirmed cases in the country reached 14.