As coronavirus spreads, so do precautionary measures and panic

As the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, panic and alarm has begun to spread alongside it.

Several countries have decided to take precautionary measures in an effort to control the outbreak of the new coronavirus. Many in national and local governments have closed restaurants, swimming pools, cinemas, and sports clubs and have advised against large gatherings such as wedding parties, parades, and sporting events.

In China, 20 new confirmed cases of coronavirus were registered on Saturday, up from 11 cases the previous day. Ten deaths were also recorded, bringing China’s deaths toll to 3,199 people.

The official White House physician, Navy Cmdr. Sean Conley, announced on Saturday that U.S. President Donald Trump was not infected with coronavirus, revealing the result of the medical test Trump underwent after he was in direct contact with several members of a Brazilian delegation who later turned out to be infected with the virus.

In France, Prime Minister Édouard Philippe, announced that the authorities in the country have decided to close most stores, restaurants, and recreational facilities starting Saturday midnight, as part of the precautionary measures they are taking to contain the outbreak of the virus. However, polling stations had been opened for municipal elections.

It is expected that French President Emmanuel Macron will announce further measures, including a curfew and travel ristrictions, on Monday.

Vatican City has not been spared from precautionary coronavirus procedures. It was stated that Easter celebrations will take place without believers, due to the outbreak.

In Germany, any gathering of more than 50 people is now prohibited and as of Monday will close all bars, restaurants, and non-essential shops.

Italian agency ANSA reported that the first specialized anti-coronavirus medicine, a monoclonal antibody specialized in identifying the protein that coronavirus uses to attack respiratory cells, has been developed.

Italy has been the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Europe. As of Monday, it has recorded 27,980 known cases and 2,158 deaths. Spain is the second hardest hit with a reported with over 9,000 known cases.