- As the coronavirus continues to spread, some countries are putting their citizens on lockdown (though that’s not a technical term used by public-health officials).
- China, Denmark, El Salvador, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, and Spain have implemented the world’s largest and most restrictive mass quarantines.
- More than 8,700 people have died and over 212,000 have been infected by the coronavirus worldwide.
- Wuhan, China, where the virus first appeared, has been locked down for more than six weeks, and many other Chinese cities still face travel restrictions.
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Countries around the world are implementing measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, from national quarantines to school closures.
After a surge in COVID-19 cases in Italy, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte put the entire country on lockdown last week, restricting travel, leisure, work, churchgoing, and other aspects of life for its 60 million citizens. Spain and France followed suit, ordering residents to stay in their homes. Italy has the highest coronavirus death toll in the world outside China: At least 35,700 people have been infected and nearly 3,000 have died there as of Wednesday.
France’s lockdown, announced Monday, may be the largest quarantine outside of China (the country’s population is about 67 million). Almost half of China’s population — about 780 million people — were under some kind of travel restriction as of February 17, according to an estimate by CNN.
Other countries have also closed their borders, and the EU has shut down all non-essential travel. El Salvador imposed a national quarantine on its population of 6.4 million people and banned foreigners from entering the country, despite having no confirmed cases of the virus so far.
The World Health Organization, which has officially declared the outbreak a pandemic, has called on “all countries to continue efforts that have been effective in limiting the number of cases and slowing the spread of the virus.”
While “lockdown” isn’t a technical term used by public-health officials, it can refer to anything from mandatory geographic quarantines to non-mandatory recommendations to stay at home, closures of certain types of businesses, or bans on events and gatherings, Lindsay Wiley, a health law professor at the Washington College of Law, told Vox.
Here are the countries and territories that have implemented mandatory mass quarantines and border closures so far.