With over 1,100 recorded cases and 19 deaths so far, France is the second-worst affected European country after Italy and on Sunday the country banned all gatherings of more than 1,000 people in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, Health Minister Olivier Veran said. “All gatherings of more than 1,000 people are from now on banned,” he said, adding that officials would issue a list of events considered “useful to national life” that would be allowed to continue such as demonstrations.
Previously the government banned gatherings in confined venues of more than 5,000 people. A decree issued on Saturday brought forward the ban’s end date to April 15 from May 31 previously. The new measure will have major consequences for sporting and entertainment events, with cancellations including a book fair and a tattoo salon.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Ligue 1 game at Strasbourg on Saturday was postponed, as well as the women’s Six Nations rugby showdown between Scotland and France. “This evening we are still in the second stage, meaning that our priority is to do everything to slow the spread of the virus in our national territory,” Veran said. France has recorded 1,125 cases and 19 deaths.
Meanwhile, Italy which has reported the largest number of cases after China has quarantined 16 million people of the country by imposing lockdowns in multiple provinces.
The government & the people of 🇮🇹 are taking bold, courageous steps aimed at slowing the spread of the #coronavirus & protecting their country & 🌍. They are making genuine sacrifices. @WHO stands in solidarity with 🇮🇹 & is here to continue supporting you.https://t.co/Y2rkgUihtA
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) March 8, 2020
The total number of cases across the globe currently stands at 109,965. 80,735 of these cases are in Mainland China, 7,375 are in Italy and 7,313 are in South Korea. The total number of deaths from the virus is 3,824.