-- Italy records 203,591 coronavirus cases;
-- Germany extends worldwide travel warning until June 14;
-- Switzerland decides to ease coronavirus lockdown;
-- Greece reports 2,576 COVID-19 cases;
-- COVID-19 deaths in Belgium rise by 170 to 7,501.
The following are the latest developments of the COVID-19 pandemic in European countries.
ROME -- The coronavirus pandemic has claimed over 27,600 lives in locked-down Italy, bringing the total number of infections, fatalities and recoveries so far to 203,591, according to the latest data released by the country's Civil Protection Department on Wednesday.
The daily death toll on Wednesday was 323, bringing the total to 27,682 fatalities since the pandemic first broke out in the northern Lombardy region.
Wednesday saw 548 fewer active infections and 2,311 more recoveries compared to Tuesday, bringing the nationwide totals to 104,657 and 71,252 respectively.
GENEVA -- The Swiss government on Wednesday decided to speed up the process of lifting the COVID-19 containment measures, thus more businesses in the country will reopen earlier than previously announced.
Following its meeting on Wednesday, the Swiss Federal Council announced that the second stage of relaxation will also see restaurants, museums and libraries reopen from May 11. The previous list included shops, markets and primary and lower secondary schools only.
Public transport will return normal schedules, and certain sports training sessions will also be allowed to resume from May 11.
BERLIN -- Germany extended the worldwide travel warning for "non-essential, tourist trips" due to the coronavirus pandemic until June 14, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas announced on Wednesday.
In many countries there were still restrictions on entry and exit while international air traffic was also grounded. "We must assume that it will take weeks before things return to normal, both here and in other countries," Maas said.
The German Federal Foreign Office also stressed that "severe and drastic restrictions on international air and travel and worldwide entry restrictions, quarantine measures and restrictions on public life in many countries can still be expected."
BRUSSELS -- A further 170 people had died of COVID-19 in the last 24 hours in Belgium, taking the country's death toll to 7,501, according to fresh figures from the public health institute Sciensano on Wednesday.
Of the 170 new deaths, 69 occurred in hospitals and 98 in rest homes and care homes, according to Sciensano. Of the cumulative 7,501 deaths, 46 percent have occurred in hospitals while 53 percent in rest homes and care homes.
Belgium also confirmed 525 new cases of infection in the last 24 hours, bringing the total cases to 47,859, according to Sciensano.
ATHENS -- Greece's Health Ministry announced on Wednesday 10 new confirmed COVID-19 cases within the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 2,576 in the country since Feb. 26 when the first case was registered.
One patient has died in the past hours, raising the death toll to 139, officials told a regular press briefing at the Health Ministry.
Currently, 41 patients remained in intensive care units (ICUs), while 71 have been discharged from ICUs.