- France moved to regulate the price of hand sanitizer after panic over the rapid spread of the coronavirus sent prices soaring.
- Images of empty shelves and inflated online prices spread across social media as pharmacists complained of a surge in wholesale prices.
- Northern European countries are bracing themselves for major outbreaks within weeks as the virus rapidly takes hold.
- UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering plans to instruct the public to work at home for at least 3 months to limit its spread.
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France has moved to regulate the price of hand sanitizer after panic over the spread of coronavirus sent prices in shops soaring.
The decision came as images of empty shelves and grossly inflated online prices for antibacterial hand gel spread across social media.
French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told French radio station BFM Business Radio that Emmanuel Macron’s government would announce its full plan to regulate the price of hand gel later on Wednesday, Reuters reported.
This is just one of several radical measures the French government has taken to combat the spread of the deadly virus.
Macron on Tuesday said his government would take control of the country’s stock of face masks in order to ensure they are available for all coronavirus patients and health workers treating those with the virus.
France is one of the worst-affected countries in Europe. There were over 200 confirmed cases of coronavirus at the time of writing. Four people have died as a result of the disease.
Over the weekend, the French government introduced a ban on public gatherings of over 5,000 people in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus.
This ban resulted in the cancellation of the Paris Half Marathon, which had been scheduled for Sunday.
The Louvre in Paris — one of the world’s most famous museums — was also closed Sunday.
The country’s health minister, Olivier Véran, has advised French people to stop participating in the traditional “bise” greeting of kissing someone on both cheeks, in order to contain the COVID-19 virus.
“The reduction in social contacts of a physical nature is advised,” Véran said at a media briefing in Paris. “That includes the practice of the bise. The virus is circulating in our territory and we must now slow down its spread.”
UK could order British public to work at home for 3 months.
The disease has gripped almost every country in Western Europe, with the European Parliament planning to cancel over 300 events over the next few weeks. There have been over 3,000 deaths worldwide as a result of the disease.
UK Prime Minster Boris Johnson on Tuesday revealed a series of radical measures that his government would consider implementing if as expected coronavirus spreads across Britain.
The UK government would be prepared to close schools, ban large public gatherings, and advise people to work at home for at least three months in order to delay the spread the virus.
Johnson’s government is also preparing to ask retired health professionals to return to work to help the National Health Service treat patients.
A UK government spokesperson said up to 20% of British employees could be off work at one time as a result of coronavirus.
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