Coronavirus • 16 March, 2020

Coronavirus: EU states record highest one-day death toll

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The three states bearing the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe have all recorded their highest death tolls for a single day, BBC reports.

Italy saw 368 deaths bring its total to 1,809, Spain recorded 97 more deaths for a total of 288, and France reported 29 deaths, giving a total of 120.

The UK also saw a single-day record, with 14 new deaths and a total of 35.

Governments across Europe have responded by curbing the movements of citizens and tightening borders.

Germany is to impose controls on its borders with France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and Luxembourg as of Monday morning, while Portugal will clamp down on its frontier with Spain.

The Czech government has introduced stringent lockdown measures: people will be allowed to go to and from work and buy food or medicine, and make urgent family visits, but otherwise free movement will be severely limited from midnight (23:00 GMT) on Sunday until 24 March.

Austria is banning gatherings of more than five people from Monday, and the Republic of Ireland is asking pubs to shut until 29 March.

Schools will be closed across many European states.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared Europe the "epicentre" of the pandemic which originated in China.

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