Spain has announced a nationwide lockdown on Monday, France has closed the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, and other borders. Both governments are taking increasingly alert measures to reduce contact between people in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Spain has recorded more than 6,300 infections and 191 deaths.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s wife, Begoña Gómez, has tested positive for coronavirus. Begoña Gómez and the prime minister are in good health, the Spain’s goverrnment said.
On the other hand, France with more than 4,400 confirmed cases has a death toll of 91 people.
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe said the number of people in France in intensive care was growing and earlier guidelines for the public were being ignored.
Philippe said the shutdown will not affect essential businesses which he listed as food shops, chemists, banks, tobacco shops and petrol stations.
The shutdown – which went into force at 23:00 GMT on Saturday – applies to restaurants, cafes, cinemas and nightclubs as well as non-essential businesses.
The World Health Organization (WHO) says Europe is now the “epicentre” of the pandemic. WHO head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives.
For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Vast majority of people recover in a matter of weeks.
However, among older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.