Some European nations are closing in on a milestone that to the U.S. seems distant: virtually stopping the new coronavirus from spreading within their territories.

Echoing the achievement of Asia-Pacific countries such as New Zealand, Vietnam and Taiwan, a handful of places in Europe are reporting only a smattering of new daily infections. Their success in containing the pandemic has allowed them to reopen their economies earlier, at a faster clip and with greater confidence than the stop-start efforts of U.S. states and hard-hit…

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