Map spells disaster for Europe
SAY goodbye to your European holiday.
All European countries must enforce total a coronavirus lockdown like Italy within 10 days, ex-Italian PM has warned.
The killer virus threatens to engulf Europe, with up to 70 per cent of citizens at risk, European leaders say.
Former Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi sent an ominous warning on Wednesday, saying: "Today, the red zone is Italy," but warned if containment measures fail, "the red zone will be Europe."
Mr Renzi said sweeping measures like the Italian Government's decree were necessary to save all of Europe, The Sun reports.
"Today the red zone is Italy," he said. "But in 10 days it will be Madrid, Paris and Berlin."
It comes as the World Health Organisation (WHO) today declared the outbreak a global pandemic. As it stands now, 118,000 people have been diagnosed with the killer bug across 114 countries.
More than 4300 people have died - around 3000 of them in China - after contracting COVID-19 across the globe.
Dramatic footage today showed police vehicles and a team of hazmat-clad civil protection workers patrolling the streets of the Italian town of Desenzano on Lake Garda, which would usually be bustling with tourists and locals.
A message from a loudspeaker says: "Fellow citizens, following the decree please do not leave your house unless absolutely necessary.
"If you go outside then you are risking the health of others and the infrastructure of the health system."
It took less than a month for the number of coronavirus cases to escalate from just dozens to thousands.
At the end of February, all nations in Europe other than Italy reported just a few dozen cases.
Now, Italy accounts for about half of the nearly 20,000 cases in Europe with more than 10,100 confirmed infections.
France, Germany and Spain have well over 1000 cases each.
Britain, the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland each have at least 400 confirmed cases.
Two more patients died from coronavirus in England tonight bringing the UK toll to eight after the number of cases jumped to 460.
Denmark and Belgium have both reported more than 250 cases, while Sweden has more than 350.
TWO-THIRDS OF GERMANY MAY BE INFECTED
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that the coronavirus was likely to infect about two-thirds of the German population.
In her first public appearance to address the epidemic, she said: "Given a virus for which there is no immunity and no immunisation, we have to understand that many people will be infected.
"The consensus among experts is that 60 to 70 per cent of the population will be infected."
By 5pm on Wednesday, 1629 people in Germany had tested positive with the virus.
Going by Ms Merkel's worse-case scenario estimates, up to 58 million of Germany's citizens could catch the disease.
The Chancellor said: "We are at the start of a development that we cannot yet see the end of … But we as a country will do whatever is necessary to do, working within the European bloc.
"This is an exceptional situation and we will do whatever is needed.
"We won't ask every day, 'What does this mean for our deficit?'"
The chancellor urged Germans to stay home whenever possible and take precautions to ensure that the health system would be able to withstand the high number of people who could fall seriously ill.
"This is a test for our solidarity, our common sense and care for each other. And I hope we pass the test," she said.
Health Minister Jens Spahn added that 80 per cent of all infected patients would have almost no symptoms, making it harder to stop.
However other German health experts say it is unlikely that two-thirds of Germans will get coronavirus.
Virologist Alexander Kekulé, a former federal government adviser on disease control, said in the worst case scenario a maximum of 40,000 people in the country would get the virus.
European leaders held a summit by video conference, noting that up to 70 per cent of Europeans - or 250 million people - could be infected by COVID-19.
Speaking after the discussion, Bulgaria's prime minister, Boyko Borissov, spoke of his concern by posting on Facebook: "Today at the videoconference with my European council colleagues, specialist analyses were quoted that said that coronavirus would affect more than 70 per cent of Europe's population.
ITALY ON LOCKDOWN
A massive spike in infections has seen ministers across the continent race to put draconian measures in place to control the spread.
Italy is the worst-affected country in the world after China.
Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte placed the whole country under lockdown on Monday night.
The move will see all public events banned, cinemas, gyms and pubs closed, funerals and weddings cancelled and sporting matches including Serie A games suspended.
Within minutes of the announcement, supermarkets and late night stores across Italy reported a surge of panic buying.
This article originally appeared on The Sun and has been republished with permission