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Europe Struggles to Get Ahead of Virus as Death Toll Mounts

European leaders are scrambling to enforce unprecedented restrictions on the movement of their populations in a desperate attempt to prevent their health-care systems being overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic.
On a weekend that saw more than 2,000 people killed by the virus in Italy and Spain, Germany banned gatherings of more than two people and the U.K.’s Boris Johnson threatened “tougher measures” unless British people stop ignoring calls to avoid social gatherings. Officials in Rome decreed a halt to almost all domestic travel while Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez extended the state of emergency in his country for another two weeks. Germany News
German Chancellor Angela Merkel put herself in quarantine as a precaution after coming into contact with a doctor who tested positive for the virus.
After a week in which the European Union unleashed its fiscal and monetary firepower to mitigate the economic damage — and to calm financial markets — the mounting death toll brought a grim reminder that in the clinics and hospitals at the heart of the outbreak, the virus is overpowering medical professionals.


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Decisions by Merkel and German state leaders on Sunday move Europe’s biggest economy closer to the drastic steps taken in Italy, the country with the most novel coronavirus deaths worldwide.
Before heading home from the Chancellery for what it turned out would be her self-imposed quarantine, Merkel said Germany’s two-person rule won’t apply to families and people sharing a home. Germany Political News
“No one wants to stand before the people and discuss such rules,” she told reporters in Berlin. “We are in a really tough situation.”
Europe is also discussing more aggressive collective action to prop up the economy. Bank of France Governor Francois Villeroy de Galhau called for emergency loans to states by the European Stability Mechanism rescue fund. European Central Bank Vice President Luis de Guindos said the EU should marshal a joint fiscal response this week. Germany Distribution Service

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