AuthorDumbrava, Costica
Lifting coronavirus restrictions
1. Introduction
1.1. Coronavirus pandemic
On 31 December 2019, China informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of cases of pneumonia
of unknown cause detected in the city of Wuhan in Hubei Province.1 The new coronavirus (SARS-
CoV-2) was identified on 7 January 2020 and its genetic sequence was shared on 12 January. The
virus spread quickly in Asia and then globally.
France reported2 the first cases in Europe on
24 January. By 12 March, when the
WHO declared the Covid-19 outbreak a
pandemic, Europe had become one of the
worst affected regions. According to the
European Centre for Disease Prevention and
Control (ECDC), as of 13 July, 12 875 963
Covid-19 cases had been reported
worldwide, including 568 628 deaths. In the
EU (European Union), EEA (European
Economic Area) and the UK, there had been
1 585 334 reported cases, including 179 433
1 WHO, Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), Situation report – 1, 21 January 2020.
2 ECDC, Novel coronavirus: three cases reported in France, 25 January 2020.
SARS-CoV-2 and Covid-19
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause
symptoms ranging from the common cold to more
serious illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory
(MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory
Syndrome (SARS). The new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is
a strain of coronavirus that was first detected in China
in 2019. Covid-19 is the infectious disease caused by
Source: ECDC, Q&A on COVID-19.
Figure 1 − Distribution of Covid-19 cases in the EU/EEA and the UK as of 13 July 2020
Source: ECDC.

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