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Europe, Middle-East, US ban public gatherings, restrict travels after Coronavirus spread intensified

By News Desk

Leaders in Europe,  Middle East, and the Americas have rolled out bans on big gatherings and issued stricter travel restrictions after cases of new coronavirus spread around the world.

The United States yesterday reported its first death from the disease, a man in his 50s in Washington state, where officials said two of the state’s three cases have links to a nursing home with dozens of residents showing disease symptoms.

While echoing President Donald Trump’s earlier comments that additional cases in America were likely to occur, Pence said: “We know there will be more cases”.

Pence said an entry ban on travelers from Iran would be expanded to include any foreign nationals who have visited Iran in the last 14 days.

Travelers from Italy and South Korea would face additional screening, Trump and top officials told a White House news briefing, warning Americans against traveling to coronavirus-affected regions in both countries.

The United States may also restrict travel on its southern border with Mexico, officials said. However, they encouraged Americans to travel around the country, including states that have recorded some of its more than 60 cases.

Coronavirus outbreak is disrupting flight demand and many airlines have suspended or modified services in response. After Saturday’s press conference, the White House held a call with airlines to discuss new travel restrictions.

Aside from urging citizens, the country airlines including American Airlines Inc, have suspended flights to Milan in Italy where the virus is considered prevalent.

Worried by the new cases, France announced a temporary ban on public gatherings with more than 5,000 people in confined spaces. It reported 16 new cases for a total of 73, and canceled a half-marathon of 40,000 runners scheduled for Sunday.

Also after reviewing number of countries battling with the novel virus, Switzerland has banned events expected to draw more than 1,000 people.

In the Middle-East, Azerbaijan said on Saturday it had closed its border with Iran for two weeks to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Two Azerbaijanis who traveled to Iran have tested positive for the disease and quarantined.

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