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NEWS / EUROPE

Italy-wide lockdown comes into force.

Italy will be placed on lockdown amid the ongoing spread of coronavirus, the country’s prime minister said. That’s a massive expansion of yesterday’s lockdown order for Lombardy, a large region in northern Italy that includes Venice and Milan.

The whole of Italy has been told to stay at home in an unprecedented move aimed at containing the coronavirus.

The lockdown was originally confined to northern Italy but as the death toll began to climb, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said "strong and severe measures" were needed.
 

People will be forbidden to gather in public and all schools and universities will be closed until 3 April. All sporting events have been suspended nationwide.
 

Only those with a valid work or family reason that cannot be postponed will be allowed to travel. Mr Conte has described the outbreak as Italy's "darkest hour", but added that "we will make it".

Italy trails only China in cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. There are more than 9,100 confirmed Italian cases, up from 5,883 on Saturday. More than 460 people are dead. Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in all 20 regions of the country.

There have been more than 113,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally and nearly 4,000 deaths.

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