In Europe, Italy’s death toll is nearing 11,000 as the country approaches 100,000 cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, Spain reported nearly 840 new coronavirus deaths Sunday, its highest daily increase, as its death toll topped 7,300. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced Saturday all nonessential workers must remain at home for the next two weeks as the government ramps up measures to contain the outbreak that has pushed hospitals and morgues to the brink.
France, Italy and Spain — three of the hardest-hit countries in Europe — are calling on the European Union to do more to help combat the coronavirus, including providing funds to help finance the countries’ response to the outbreak. This is Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez: “The response cannot only be national. It must be a European response. It has to be a response where we all row as one, whether we are Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or German. It has to be a European response.”
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte warned that “nationalist instincts” could gain strength if the EU fails to act.
In Britain, officials say the nation could be under some type of lockdown for six months or more. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is one of nearly 20,000 known coronavirus patients in Britain. Over 1,200 people have died.
In Russia, Moscow is starting a lockdown today, affecting nearly 13 million residents. Over 1,000 infections have been reported in the Russian capital.
Meanwhile, in Belarus, authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko’s response to the pandemic is in stark contrast to other European leaders, as he refused to implement any protective measures and advised citizens of Belarus to drink vodka and visit the sauna to combat the infection.