Europe, Latest on coronavirus outbreak

Belgium, Portugal to shut schools over coronavirus

Schools will be closed until April 3 in Belgium and April 9 in Portugal, while Luxembourg also announces school closures

Serife Cetin, Senhan Bolelli   | 13.03.2020
Belgium, Portugal to shut schools over coronavirus

BRUSSELS/ MADRID 

Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg announced Thursday that schools will be closed as a precaution against the novel coronavirus.

Belgian Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes told a press conference that the country’s schools will be closed as of Friday night until April 3.

Wilmes said all cultural and sports activities have been cancelled and only markets and pharmacies will remain open in the country.

Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa said in a press conference that all schools and universities will be closed until April 9.

Meanwhile, Luxembourg’s Health Minister Paulette Lenert announced that all schools in the country will be closed as of March 16 until March 27.

Lenert added that the country has confirmed 26 coronavirus cases.

The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, was first detected in Wuhan, China last December and has spread to at least 114 countries.

The global death toll is now over 4,900, with more than 134,000 confirmed cases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which has declared the outbreak "a pandemic."

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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