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Italy locks down the country's northern regions to contain coronavirus

Posted at 10:46 AM, Mar 08, 2020

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), Italy's government has locked down much of the country's northern regions on Sunday, restricting movement for 16 million people.

According to Italian news reports, Italy, which is suffering the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe so far, has locked down the Lombardy region, including the cities of Milan, Venice, Parma and Modena.

Officials say the restrictions will stay in force until April 3 and were signed into law overnight by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

According to Conte, nobody will be allowed to move in or out of these areas, or within them, unless they have proven work-related reasons or health issues for doing so.

As of Saturday, health officials say Italy had more than 5,800 cases of COVID-19, 233 of them fatal. The only other country to have had more people die due to the coronavirus is China.