Denmark becomes second European country to impose lockdown over COVID-19
London, March 12, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Denmark has become the second European country after Italy to impose lockdown to halt the devastating effects of deadly COVID-19 virus commonly refereed to as coronavirus
Italy on Tuesday, imposed unprecedented travel restrictions on its 60 million people to control the deadly coronavirus outbreak in the country.
Late on Wednesday, Denmark’s Prime Minister announced that the country will close all kindergartens, schools and universities for two weeks to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
At a press conference on Wednesday evening, PM Mette Frederiksen said public sector employees who do not perform critical functions would be sent home on paid leave, while those in the private sector would be encouraged to work from home as much as possible.
Indoor events with 100 or more participants have also been banned as part of the tough new measures being introduced from Monday, according to local media reports. There have been no deaths from coronavirus in Denmark, but the number of cases is rising rapidly.
Prime Minister Frederiksen said: ‘This will have huge consequences, but the alternative would be far worse. ‘Under normal circumstances, a government would not present such far-reaching measures without having all the solutions ready for the many Danes concerned, but we are in an extraordinary situation.’
The dramatic decision comes after the Danish Patient Safety Authority reported 442 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday evening, bringing the number of people in quarantine to 1,303.
Director Søren Brostrøm said that he expected the number of cases to increase even more rapidly in the coming days and weeks, after the World Health Organisation officially declared it a pandemic.