Coronavirus has now spread to every European Union country after Cyprus reported its first case on Monday.
After bringing much of Asia to a standstill over the past month, the outbreak now looks set to have a profound impact in Europe, with millions of people in quarantine, sporting events postponed and celebrations canceled. As the scale of the epidemic on the continent was ramped up, all major European indexes fell around 7% on Monday, along with the Stoxx 600 SXXP, -1.13% .
Cyprus had been the only EU member state without a confirmed coronavirus case but the country reported on Monday afternoon that two people have tested positive.
In another key development, Germany reported its first coronavirus deaths after two people died in the western German city of Essen and virus hot spot Heinsberg, according to reports.
The U.K. reported its fourth death from the virus as the government said the number of cases had risen to 319, while Sweden announced its first case in which the person has not recently traveled overseas.
Public gatherings and sporting events are also being canceled across Europe at an accelerating rate.
Dublin has canceled the annual St Patrick’s Day parade over coronavirus fears, Irish broadcaster RTE reported. The city of Cork, which hosts Ireland’s second-largest parade has also canceled the festivities.
Italy has been the worst affected country in Europe, with more 7,000 cases and 366 deaths.
Around 16 million people in Italy have been quarantined after the government imposed an unprecedented lockdown on much of the country’s northern regions. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described it as the nation’s “darkest hour.”
Sports events in the country will be played behind closed doors – without fans – until at least Apr.3, affecting the soccer games in Serie A. The FTSE MIB index I945, -3.27% fell more than 11% on Monday and has now fallen 21% so far this year.
The Italian rugby team’s matches with Ireland last week and England on Saturday have both been postponed, while France’s game with Ireland has also been postponed this weekend. Paris Saint German’s clash with Borussia Dortmund in soccer’s UEFA Champions League will also be played in an empty stadium on Wednesday.
Spectators have also been banned from the lighting of the Olympic torch ceremony in Greece later this week.
PULLED FROM marketwatcth.com