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This country may shut several airports to curb coronavirus spread

OSLO: Norway is considering whether to close down several airports as part of its effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, airport operator Avinor told the public broadcaster NRK on Thursday.

At Oslo Airport, the country’s largest, one of the two runways could be shut, Avinor Chief Executive Dag Falk-Petersen said.

The coronavirus spread

There are now over 126,000 cases of coronavirus globally, after the World Health Organization called the outbreak a pandemic for the first time on Wednesday, and over 4,600 have died, according to a Reuters tally at 0200 GMT on Thursday. Almost 7,000 cases were reported in the past day, far surpassing the average daily amount reported in China during the virus’ initial peak.

Italy saw the sharpest increase in cases, with over 2,300 in 24 hours, accounting for a third of all new cases in the past day. A total of 196 people died in Italy over the last 24 hours, the largest rise in absolute numbers since the contagion came to light on Feb. 21.

Meanwhile, China had eight new coronavirus infections in Hubei province, the first time the epicentre of the pandemic recorded a daily tally in single digits, as more businesses reopened with local authorities cautiously easing strict containment measures.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was criticised for saying coronavirus was likely to infect up to 70% of Germans.

“When the virus is out there, and the population has no immunity and no vaccination or therapy exists, then a high percentage – experts say 60 to 70% of the population – will be infected, so long as this remains the case,” she said.

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