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Italy: Authorities impose lockdown in northern towns amid coronavirus outbreak03:23

Italy: Authorities impose lockdown in northern towns amid coronavirus outbreak

Italy, Rome
February 23, 2020 at 09:00 GMT +00:00 · Published

The Italian government issued a decree placing several northern towns in the region of Lombardy and Veneto on lockdown to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, announced Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during a press conference in Rome, on Saturday.

"When it comes to movement within the zones, we have decided that in the areas identified as disease outbreaks, entry and exit are not allowed, unless specific exceptions are permitted and assessed on a case-by-case basis," said Conte.

"Obviously, in the areas that we have identified as hotbeds, we have decided to suspend activities in the form of collective or individual initiatives, public events, various events, educational, didactic and scholastic activities."

Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the Veneto and Lombardy areas have been suspended.

Conte however ruled out the possibility of suspending the European Union's Schengen agreement.

"At the moment there are absolutely no conditions for an initiative of this kind, not to mention the devastating impact it would have on our economy. And paradoxically I want to reverse the question: why would we want to make Italy an outcast? There are no conditions for it to come to this, nor do we want that to happen," he stated.

According to the latest reports, the number of people infected by the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, now rose to 79 in the country. Two people were confirmed to have died in northern Italy after contracting the flu-like virus.

Italy: Authorities impose lockdown in northern towns amid coronavirus outbreak03:23
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The Italian government issued a decree placing several northern towns in the region of Lombardy and Veneto on lockdown to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, announced Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte during a press conference in Rome, on Saturday.

"When it comes to movement within the zones, we have decided that in the areas identified as disease outbreaks, entry and exit are not allowed, unless specific exceptions are permitted and assessed on a case-by-case basis," said Conte.

"Obviously, in the areas that we have identified as hotbeds, we have decided to suspend activities in the form of collective or individual initiatives, public events, various events, educational, didactic and scholastic activities."

Three Serie A soccer matches scheduled for Sunday in the Veneto and Lombardy areas have been suspended.

Conte however ruled out the possibility of suspending the European Union's Schengen agreement.

"At the moment there are absolutely no conditions for an initiative of this kind, not to mention the devastating impact it would have on our economy. And paradoxically I want to reverse the question: why would we want to make Italy an outcast? There are no conditions for it to come to this, nor do we want that to happen," he stated.

According to the latest reports, the number of people infected by the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, now rose to 79 in the country. Two people were confirmed to have died in northern Italy after contracting the flu-like virus.

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