Coronavirus infections in Italy increased despite weeks of blockages, worsening in Europe human cost as the continent's leaders discussed unprecedented economic rescue plans.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking from pre-emptive quarantine at her home in Berlin, said Thursday that it was premature for Germany to consider lifting the blockade measures, which her country took longer to impose than other major European nations.
"We are not even close to where we can see if the measures are working," Merkel told reporters in a conference call. "So I really have to ask people in Germany for patience."
With Italy and Spain reporting the highest number of deaths worldwide, the outbreak in Europe is affecting health systems, forcing doctors to choose who he should die and give a hunch of what might come in other advanced countries. While death rates in Italy and Spain declined marginally on Thursday, reported infections increased in both countries.
The leaders of the Group of 20, which includes Germany, France and Italy, said they were injecting $ 5 billion in the global economy and committed to doing "whatever it takes" to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and its consequences.
Like the G-20, European Union leaders met virtually on Thursday to discuss the crisis. Merkel, who has tested negative for the coronavirus twice, commented on the limitations. "Of course you don't have a chance to walk and talk to someone at the table," he said.
the The director of the World Health Organization for Europe, Hans Kluge, said it is too early to say that the disease peaked in the region, which represents approximately 70% of the more than 20,000 deaths from the virus. Shocking scenes of misery are taking place in the hardest hit areas, including parts of Spain and Lombardy in northern Italy, where Milan stopped cremations for victims who are not city residents because the facilities are overwhelmed with the dead
"This is not going to be a sprint," Kluge said at a press conference. "This is going to be a marathon."
As governments in many regions impose previously unthinkable restrictions on citizens, businesses, and transportation, Italy recorded the highest number of infections in five days as the disease spread further in Lombardy, the economic and financial heart of Italy.
Evidence has expanded in Lombardy, helping to explain why almost half of the acceleration in Italy's 6,153 new cases occurred in the Milan area. There were 662 deaths across the country on Thursday, compared to 683 in the past 24 hours. The rate of deaths also decreased slightly in Spain, which has extended a state of emergency until April 11.
As frontline doctors, nurses and health officials sought to contain the outbreak and "flatten the curve," leaders of the European Union split over long-standing flaws over emergency economic measures.
For the EU summit, France, Italy and Spain were pushing to accept the option of joint debt issuance, an idea that always applies to German leaders. resistance. A renewed appeal of European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, who was quarantined last week after Exposure to a person with the coronavirus also fell on deaf ears.
That is after the ECB stepped up by removing most of the bond purchase limits at its € 750 billion ($ 819 billion) pandemic emergency program, a landmark decision that greatly increases its power to combat the economic consequences. Government bonds recovered throughout the euro area.
Merkel said the European Stability Mechanism, a rescue fund created in 2012 during the euro area debt crisis, "is the preferred instrument" for crisis relief. EU finance ministers will discuss detailed steps over the next two weeks, he said.
European airlines obtained a relief measure on Thursday when the EU parliament suspended until October its obligation to use the airport slot machines or risk losing them. The goal is to avoid empty planes flying routes just so that airlines can retain the rights, which can be worth millions of dollars.
The coronavirus crisis is also accelerating the efforts of European countries to create a more united response to foreign acquisitions. Depressed share prices are making companies more vulnerable to non-EU companies or entities at stake.
Global automakers face an unprecedented challenge after the pandemic paralyzed demand from China to Europe and the US. USA
One of Germany's industrial flagships, manufacturer of Mercedes Daimler AG is in talks with banks to organize a new line of credit of at least 10 billion euros, according to people familiar with the matter. In another domino effect, Volkswagen AG said it is extending the closure of its German factories to April 10 due to falling demand and supply disruptions.
– With assistance from Alessandro Speciale, Ben Sills, Christoph Rauwald and Arne Delfs
(Updates with Merkel's comments in the second and third paragraph, Lagarde quarantined in the twelfth.)
. (tagsToTranslate) Italy (t) Coronavirus (t) Europe (t) European Central Bank (t) Spain (t) Angela D Merkel (t) Germany (t) G-20 (t) France (t) World Health Organization (t) business (t) forecast