Europe looking to extend virus lockdowns

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European nations are examining extending the lockdowns put in place to try to stem the coronavirus outbreak.

A lockdown imposed on 12 March in Italy, where the number of deaths may soon overtake China, will now extend beyond the original 25 March end date.

France said its 15-day lockdown might also be extended, with European leaders reluctant to give any deadline for an end to crisis measures.

There have been 207,000 cases worldwide with more than 8,600 deaths.

The European Central Bank (ECB) has launched an emergency €750bn ($820bn; £700bn) package to ease the impact of the pandemic, with boss Christine Lagarde tweeting “there are no limits” to its commitment to the euro.

Europe’s markets stabilised on opening, moving into positive territory, although Asian markets remained volatile with the Nikkei closing down 1%.

Source: BBC News

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