Denmark limits gatherings, closes businesses over virusPTI | Copenhagen | Updated: 18-03-2020 05:12 IST | Created: 18-03-2020 03:07 IST
Denmark has announced a new round of measures to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, including banning gatherings of more than 10 people and closing most shops apart from supermarkets and pharmacies. The new rules follow similar restrictions across Europe, where the coronavirus has rapidly spread in recent weeks.
More than 1,000 people are infected with coronavirus in Denmark, with four deaths, and the new measures are aimed at curbing the spread of the illness. "From tomorrow at 10 o'clock (Wednesday 0900 GMT), gatherings of more than 10 people will no longer be allowed," Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told a press conference on Tuesday, stressing that the ban also included private events.
"This isn't the time to invite people to a birthday party or gather a lot of people," she added. Frederiksen added that non-essential businesses such as hairdressers, massage and tattoo parlours, restaurants and bars would also be closed.
Supermarkets and pharmacies are excluded from the ban, which is set to remain in place until March 30. Shops that are to remain open need to supply costumers with hand sanitiser.
Of the 7,620 people tested in Denmark, 1,025 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed, according to the health authorities. Testing has however been limited to only the ill and health workers.
The country is preparing a new screening strategy, allowing up to 1,000 people to be tested per day. In a televised speech, the Queen of Denmark, Margrethe II, who already cancelled her 80th birthday celebrations last week, called on people to "band together" in "times of danger." "The advice from the authorities is actually quite simple: wash your hands. Keep your distance. Avoid all physical contact. Stay at home," she said.