European reaction to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Publication Date 2020
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Reports and information on the outbreak of a novel disease named Coronavirus (2019-nCoV or COVID-19), and in particular on the response from European countries and institutions to contain the spread of the virus.

Further information:

The virus was first detected in China's Wuhan City, in the Hubei Province. On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organisation (WHO) alerted to several cases of pneumonia in that city. That virus did not match any other known virus. On 7 January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus, the Coronavirus.

Despite measures by Chinese authorities to contain the virus, it soon started spreading to other cities in the country and later to other countries in the region and beyond. On 28 January, the European Commission activated the EU Civil Protection Mechanism - following a request for assistance from France - to provide consular support to EU citizens in Wuhan. The plan included the repatriation of EU citizens back to Europe.

The spread of the disease occurred alongside the spread of rumours and misinformation. Media sources also reported on increasing discrimination against Chinese and east Asian individuals due to this virus.

The Council of the European Union held a meeting on 13 February to discuss the implications of the outbreak of human cases of coronavirus. The conclusions adopted at the meeting welcomed the response from the EU to the threat of a possible pandemic outbreak, and called for increased cooperation both at EU and international level. The exchange of views was held on the basis of a steering note prepared by the Council presidency.

The first death in Europe related to this virus was reported by French authorities on 15 February 2020. In late February, media sources reported on clashes in Novi Sanzhary (Ukraine) as locals stoned a bus with people evacuated from Wuhan and heading to a quarantine facility. Elsewhere, the number of cases registered in Europe increased steadily, particularly as Italy faced an outbreak. On 24 February, the European Commission announced a new aid package to contain the disease.

Related Link(s)
Commentary and Analysis
Wikipedia: 2020 coronavirus outbreak in Europe
Euronews, 21/01/2020: What is coronavirus and how is it transmitted?
France24, 26/01/2020: With Europe's first confirmed coronavirus cases, how is France dealing with the disease?
Deutsche Welle, 27/01/2020: Coronavirus: Everything you need to know
Politico, 30/01/2020: With coronavirus, Europe tries to learn from past outbreaks
EuroSurveillance: Rapid Communication, January 2020: Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) early-stage importation risk to Europe, January 2020
The Conversation, 01/02/2020: Wuhan coronavirus: crisis management is a test to Xi Jinping’s powers
Bloomberg, 03/02/2020: What the Coronavirus Shock Means for Europe’s Economies
Deutsche Welle, 07/02/2020: Sieren's China: Coronavirus — an epidemic of rumors
EurActiv, 07/02/2020: ECDC chief: Low risk for coronavirus but EU pandemic prep should be reviewed
Euro|topics, January-February 2020: Coronavirus epidemic: counter-measures under scrutiny
The Conversation, 14/02/2020: Coronavirus: how media coverage of epidemics often stokes fear and panic
EPRS: Briefing, February 2020: Novel Coronavirus Outbreak - State of play with the epidemics; preparedness and response measurers
The New York Times, 18/02/2020: In Europe, Fear Spreads Faster Than the Coronavirus Itself
Euro|topics, February 2020: Coronavirus: Europe between panic and actionism

The Guardian: Coronavirus outbreak
Deutsche Welle: Coronavirus
France24: Coronavirus
The Independent: Coronavirus
Politico: Coronavirus
EurActiv: Coronavirus
BBC News: Coronavirus outbreak
Deutsche Welle, 24/01/2020: Coronavirus reaches Europe as France confirms 3 cases
Reuters, 24/01/2020: France confirms first three cases of coronavirus in Europe
Politico, 28/01/2020: Coronavirus cartoon triggers China-Denmark diplomatic spat
El País, 28/01/2020: Spain trying to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan along with French, British nationals
BBC News, 29/01/2020: Coronavirus: French Asians hit back at racism with 'I'm not a virus'
EUObserver, 04/02/2020: EU's response to coronavirus: 'Time for facts, not fear'
BBC News, 04/02/2020: Coronavirus: Chinese targeted as Italians panic
EurActiv, 04/02/2020: Coronavirus threatens EU-China agreement in 2020
The Guardian, 06/02/2020: Fiat warns coronavirus could force closure of European plant
TIME, 07/02/2020: 'An Eternal Hero.' Whistleblower Doctor Who Sounded Alarm on Coronavirus Dies in China
EurActiv, 07/02/2020: Coronavirus could hurt German economy due to its reliance on China
Deutsche Welle, 11/02/2020: EU crisis center monitors coronavirus outbreak, offers aid to China
EurActiv, 12/02/2020: ‘Too early to assess’ the economic impact of coronavirus, Commission says
Politico, 13/02/2020: Coronavirus clouds EU economic forecast
The New York Times, 14/02/2020: Coronavirus Begins to Sap Growth as Europe’s Economy Slows
Politico, 14/02/2020: Europe braces for coronavirus-induced drug shortages
BBC News, 15/02/2020: Coronavirus: First death confirmed in Europe
The Local (France), 15/02/2020: France reports first coronavirus death in Europe
The Guardian, 15/02/2020: Chinese tourist in France becomes Europe's first coronavirus fatality
Deutsche Welle, 15/02/2020: Coronavirus: France announces first COVID-19 death in Europe
The Guardian, 20/02/2020: Ukraine: violent clashes as locals hurl stones at coronavirus evacuees' bus
BBC News, 21/02/2020: Coronavirus: Ukraine protesters attack buses carrying China evacuees
Deutsche Welle, 21/02/2020: Coronavirus: Riots erupt in Ukraine as China evacuees enter quarantine
The Guardian, 22/02/2020: Coronavirus: US says Russia behind disinformation campaign
Politico, 22/02/2020: Italy reports two deaths from coronavirus as outbreak grows
BBC News, 23/02/2020: Coronavirus: Venice Carnival closes as Italy imposes lockdown
The Local (Italy), 23/02/2020: Italy announces third death linked to coronavirus
The Guardian, 24/02/2020: Italians struggle with 'surreal' lockdown as coronavirus cases rise
Politico, 24/02/2020: Brussels thinks global on coronavirus, but local fears mount
EurActiv, 24/02/2020: Commission calls for coordination before any border measures for coronavirus
Deutsche Welle, 25/02/2020: European stocks claw back after Monday coronavirus panic

World Health Organization: Health Topics: Coronavirus
World Health Organization: Emergencies: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
EU ECDC: Pneumonia cases associated with novel coronavirus, China
WHO Europe: News: 24/01/2020: Novel coronavirus outbreak in China – What does it mean for Europe?
European Commission: Press Release, 28/01/2020: Coronavirus: EU Civil Protection Mechanism activated for the repatriation of EU citizens
European Commission: Remarks by Commissioners Kyriakides and Lenarčič on the EU's Response to the Developments relating to the Coronavirus (29 January 2020)
European Commission: News, 31/01/2020: Coronavirus: EU mobilises €10 million for research
European Commission: Statement by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on EU support to China for the Coronavirus outbreak (1 February 2020)
Council of the European Union: Press Release, 13/02/2020: Cooperation is key to counter the COVID-19 outbreak: the Council adopts conclusions
WHO Europe: News, 14/02/2020: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): European Region focusing on readiness
European Commission: Press Release, 19/02/2020: COVID-19 outbreak: Commission supports repatriation of EU citizens from cruise ship in Japan
European Commission: Press Release, 23/02/2020: COVID-19: EU co-finances the delivery of more protective equipment to China
European Commission: Press Release, 24/02/2020: COVID-19: EU working on all fronts, €232 million for global efforts to tackle outbreak
European Commission: Questions and Answers, 24/02/2020: he EU's Response to COVID-19
European Commission: Remarks delivered by Commissioner Kyriakides at the joint press conference with Commissioner Lenarčič on the EU's response, preparedness and financial support to address the COVID-19 outbreak (24 February 2020)
European Commission: Statement by Commissioner Janez Lenarčič: EU measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak and protect people in the EU and throughout the world (24 February 2020)
WHO Europe: News, 24/02/2020: Joint WHO and ECDC mission in Italy to support COVID-19 control and prevention efforts

ESO Records
European Economic Forecast. Winter 2020

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