Stock exchanges drop and more borders in the world closed by the emerging corona virus
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European markets opened on Monday, despite the intervention of central banks all over the world in an effort to contain the shock caused by the spread of the emerging Corona virus, while the outcome of the epidemic is increasing steadily, especially in Europe, which pushed countries to close their borders and impose isolation on their people.
On Sunday, the US Federal Reserve cut its interest rates to zero, participating in a coordinated global move by central banks aimed at ensuring the world’s liquidity. The Fed also announced the purchase of $ 500 billion of Treasury bonds and $ 200 billion of mortgage bonds in support of the markets.
However, these announcements were not enough to reassure the stock markets, as they fell at the opening in Europe, after they retreated in the Asia-Pacific region (-9.7 percent in Sydney, which is a historical decline).
Market paralysis hangs over fears of a recession in the face of an epidemic that appears to be slowing in its Asian cradle but is spreading across other continents.
And this is when the catastrophic economic consequences of the health crisis unfold. European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton announced on Monday that the European Union expects a recession in 2020, as the global impact of the crisis on European growth may reach “from 2 to 205 percent”.
European Council President Charles Michel announced an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday via closed-circuit television of the leaders of the 27 European Union countries.
On Monday, China announced its first industrial production decline in nearly thirty years, and its retail sales collapsed.
In Germany, the International Tourism Federation, the world’s first tourist group, suspended the bulk of its activities as organized tours.
In the United States, where new restrictions on Americans returning from Europe have caused airport chaos, New York and Los Angeles have ordered the closure of all bars, restaurants and nightclubs, a measure followed in many European countries such as France, Italy, Spain and Belgium. In Las Vegas, MGM Group closed its 13 hotels and casinos.
The group, “IAG”, which owns British Airways, expected to reduce its flights by at least 75 percent, in April and May, and the company “Izet” said it may freeze the largest part of its planes.
The number of cases of the virus Covid-19 in the world at 17:00 GMT Sunday, 159844 cases in the world, according to an outcome prepared by Agence France-Presse according to official sources.
The disease has killed 6,420 people worldwide, including more than 291 deaths in Europe that have become the “epicenter” of the epidemic, according to the World Health Organization. The virus is particularly prevalent in Italy and Spain, where the number of infections doubles.
And the number of deaths recorded worldwide (3221 deaths) more than those counted in China (3199 deaths) from which the virus spread, and that only 16 new cases were recorded on Monday, 12 of which came from abroad.
Countries seek to protect themselves by increasing their isolation from the world, even within the European Union, which undermines the European principle of freedom of movement.
Germany imposed border controls at 0700 GMT on Monday with five countries – France, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark and Luxembourg. German police allowed only the transit of goods and workers working across the border.
On Sunday, Russia, the Czech Republic, Argentina, Colombia and even Guatemala announced full or partial closures of their borders.
Italy, the country most affected by the epidemic in Europe, set a record 368 new deaths on Sunday within 24 hours, taking its death toll to 1809.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called for “European coordination” in the fields of health and economy to confront the epidemic, warning that his country “has not yet reached the peak” of the infection. “It is time to make courageous options and Italy can make a significant contribution as the country that was the first to spread the virus with such a large scale,” he said in an interview with the Il Corriere della daily, Monday.
The “Seven” summit via video
Conte is scheduled to participate in an extraordinary summit of the Group of Seven via video Monday to coordinate ways to combat the epidemic in the areas of health, economy, finance and research.
In the second country most affected by the epidemic, Spain imposed isolation on its population and declared a 15-day alert.
In France, where 127 deaths were recorded from more than 5423 injuries, while more than 400 people were transferred to the hospital in a serious condition, the Director General of Health, Jerome Salomon, warned that the situation is “very worrying … and deteriorating rapidly”, declaring that “the number of injuries doubles every day”.
Since Sunday, France has closed restaurants, bars, nightclubs, cinemas, schools, and universities, but it has nevertheless held the municipal elections, which have had little turnout.
Austria, which reported 602 injuries as of Saturday, banned the gathering of more than five people and banned transfers unless absolutely necessary.
The Netherlands and Luxembourg also ordered Sunday to close all sites where people congregate from schools, bars, restaurants, cafes and shops, while Ireland ordered the bars closed.
Serbia has declared a state of emergency for an indefinite period and the army will be mobilized to contribute to the fight against the epidemic. Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru also imposed severe restrictions on the movement of its residents.
The six Arab Gulf states suspended flights and announced 1,000 cases, particularly in Qatar, while the first HIV-related deaths were recorded in Bahrain.
In Lebanon, the authorities have ordered citizens to visit their homes for two weeks, and Beirut International Airport will be closed from Wednesday to the end of March.
Iran, the third country most affected by the epidemic, has announced 113 new deaths, raising its total to 724 and 13938 injuries.
The authorities asked the citizens to “cancel all their movements and stay in their homes”, and closed the shrine of Imam al-Rida in the holy Shiite city of Mashhad.
Morocco suspended all international flights, but authorized private aircraft to return the European tourists stranded in the country.
In South America, Chile closed its ports to cruise ships after imposing quarantine on two cruise ships with about 1,300 people on board.
Peru followed Chile’s example by closing ports to cruise ships.
New Zealand imposed quarantine on a ship carrying 3,700 people, and it banned cruise ships docking at its ports until June 30.