The European Union's disease control agency has increased its risk level for the novel coronavirus COVID-19 from moderate to high, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.
"The ECDC has announced today that the risk level has risen from moderate to high for people in the European Union. In other words, the virus continues to spread," she said.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control is providing daily updates on the progress of the outbreak. As of early Monday it counted 89,006 cases in the world across 68 countries.
Europe has not been as hard hit as China, but several member countries have had outbreaks and the EU is scrambling to coordinate the health response.
Italy has had it worst, with 1,694 people tested positive.
"As of this morning, we have 2,100 confirmed cases in 18 EU member states and we have 38 citizens who have lost their lives," EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said
"Different member states face different challenges in relation to the COVID-19 outbreak. Italy is facing a situation which is not the same as other member states."
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