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The Who’s and Where’s of Europe and Middle East's coronavirus outbreak

Tourists wait in front of buses after being banned from entering Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces due to the discovery of coronavirus cases in that territory on 6 March 2020.
Tourists wait in front of buses after being banned from entering Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank by Israeli forces due to the discovery of coronavirus cases in that territory on 6 March 2020. © AFP
5 min

Governments using lockdowns and quarantines to fight the deadly new coronavirus must ensure people's rights are respected and avoid unintended consequences, the UN rights chief said Friday. This as the number of cases globally continues to rise.

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Governments using lockdowns and quarantines to fight the deadly new coronavirus must ensure people's rights are respected and avoid unintended consequences, the UN rights chief said Friday.

Michelle Bachelet said the response to the COVID-19 disease caused by the virus must place human dignity and rights at its centre.

Her office said lockdowns, quarantines and similar measures "should always be carried out in strict accordance with human rights standards and in a way that is necessary and proportionate".

This as European health ministers launched crisis talks on how to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the EU scrambles to gather protective medical supplies.

"The virus is in Europe, the challenge is to slow down and contain it," Germany's Jens Spahn said as colleagues from the 27 EU member states arrived at the meeting.

"The new epidemic is here," he said, emphasising the key task now was to slow the spread while treatments are developed.

Spahn said that Germany did not yet see a need to limit free movement across borders within the union.

The number of novel coronavirus cases in the world is approaching 100,000 and more than 3,300 have proved fatal.

In Europe the spread of the virus continues to gain ground. A number of new cases have been reported today, Friday 6th, 2020:

France MP

In France a member of parliament has been hospitalised in intensive care after contracting coronavirus, the lower house of parliament said in a statement on Thursday, as the French president warned the public to prepare for an "inevitable" epidemic.

A snack bar worker had also contracted the virus and had been confined to home while another worker in the lawmakers' dining hall who was suspected of having caught the virus had been hospitalised, the Assembly said. Elsewhere the virus is also spreading.

Bethlehem

The city of Bethlehem was on lockdown on Friday, after the first Palestinian cases of the deadly coronavirus were discovered there.

The Palestinian government announced a month-long state of emergency late Thursday after the seven cases were identified, while the Israeli defence ministry said it had imposed emergency measures on Bethlehem, with all people "forbidden from entering or leaving the city". It added that the lockdown had been imposed "in coordination with the Palestinian Authority".

The Church of the Nativity, built on the site that Christians believe was the birthplace of Jesus, was closed on Thursday and is among places expected to be shuttered for a month.

Egypt

Egypt says detects 12 new coronavirus cases on Nile cruise boat

Iran

Iran on Friday announced 17 more deaths from the novel coronavirus, raising the total number of people killed to 124, as the overall number of cases soared.

"We have confirmed 1,234 new cases, which is a record in the past few days," health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour told a news conference, raising the total number of infections to 4,747.

Netherlands

Netherlands has recorded its first death in the novel coronavirus outbreak, health officials said on Friday. An 86-year-old man with COVID-19 who was admitted to the Ikazia hospital in Rotterdam has died the National Institute for Public Health (RIVM) confirmed. This is the first patient in the Netherlands to die of the coronavirus. The source of the patient's contamination was unknown. Netherlands now has 82 reported cases.

Serbia

The first case of coronavirus in Serbia has been diagnosed in a man who had been in Hungary, the country's health minster announced on Friday.

first case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Serbia. It is a 43-year-old man from Subotica (north) who recently stayed in Hungary, in Budapest," said Zlatibor Loncar said. The man is in solitary confinement at the Subotica hospital and his health is good, the minister said. The people with whom he came into contact have been tested.

Slovakia

Slovakia reported its first case of the novel coronavirus on Friday, after a man whose son visited Venice in COVID-19 hotspot Italy, tested positive.

"Today, a 52-year-old patient was confirmed to be infected," Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini told journalist Friday.

He said the man, who has not been named, is currently hospitalised in Bratislava.

 "The patient did not travel anywhere recently but his son returned from Venice a couple of weeks ago," Pellegrini added.

 

Vatican City

The Vatican on Friday reported its first coronavirus case, saying it had suspended outpatient services at its health clinic after a patient tested positive for COVID-19.

clinic inside the tiny city state -- which has some 1,000 residents -- will be deep cleaned, while the emergency room will remain open, spokesman Matteo Bruni said. patient tested positive on Thursday. The clinic is used by priests, residents and employees -- including those now retired -- as well as their relatives.

Globally, the spread of infection looks like this:

  • Asia has recorded a total at 0900 GMT Friday of 88,344 cases (3,101 deaths)
  • Europe 5,701 cases (161 deaths),
  • Middle East 3,757 cases (110 deaths)
  • US and Canada 194 cases (11 deaths)
  • Oceania 64 cases (2 deaths),
  • Latin America and the Caribbean 34 cases
  • Africa 29 cases.

This assessment was carried out using data collected by AFP offices from the competent national authorities and information from the World Health Organization

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