Coronavirus: France shuts most public places

France closes down most shops, restaurants and entertainment centres and asks people to stay home as much as possible.

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus pandemic surged past 5,000 on Saturday with the total number of cases rising to more than 140,000, as the infection continues to prompt countries to take unprecedented measures to help stave off a global health crisis.

France announced that it will shut most shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities from midnight on Saturday and urging people to stay home as much as possible.

Spanish media reported that the country's government will be announcing a countrywide lockdown while declaring a two-week state of emergency to fight the sharp rise in coronavirus infections.

The US announced that it was extending the travel restrictions imposed on the European nations to Britain and Ireland.

The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, said Europe has now become the "epicentre" of the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.



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