Europe to Challenge Coronavirus as Italy Fights an Eruption of Cases

Italy announced that it has more than 150 cases most of which spread in densely populated regions around Milan, as officials close down schools and cancel Venice’s carnival celebrations.

Europe faced its first extreme disruption of the coronavirus as an outburst of more than 150 cases in Italy suggested officials on Sunday the 23rd Feb to lock down at least 10 towns, lock schools in major cities and cancel sports events and cultural touchstones, including the end of the famous Venice carnival.

Before Thursday, Italy had only 5 known cases that turned to 150 which is a worrisome number. The event has shattered the sense of safety and distance in the continent. The virus has caused an outbreak of nearly 78,000 infected and more than 2,400 dead all in China.

The rise of threat was broadcasted on television channels, became the newspaper headlines and social media feeds across Europe where leaders of the nations faced a great challenge since the 2015 migration crisis.

That wave of people into Europe entirely changed the politics of the European Union and exposed its institutional gaps. This time, it is an unseen virus from outside that has moved past Europe’s boundaries and grants its fighting combinations with a new potential emergency.

If the virus grows, the basic policy of open borders in much of Europe — so central to the identity of the bloc — will go through a stress test, as will the vaunted but forced European public health systems, particularly in countries that have experienced austerity measures.

Already, a new sensitivity has penetrated Europe.

In Italy’s Lombardy region, 10 towns were close down after a number of cases abruptly emerged in Codogno, southeast of Milan.

Citizens were supposed to enter or leave the towns only with specific consent, affecting at least 50,000 people and by Sunday night, police officers in medical masks were waving down cars.

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