Authorities in northern Italy temporarily closed some universities after a surge in coronavirus cases left the country with the most infections in Europe, including two cases in the financial hub of Milan.
The number of reported cases rose to 60 on February 22, including 47 in the Lombardy region, which borders Switzerland and includes Milan, Italy’s second-biggest city. All but one of the others were reported in Piemonte, a region that includes the industrial center of Turin with Fiat Chrysler’s most iconic plant and headquarters.
One death each in Lombardy and the neighbouring Veneto region, which includes Venice, marked the first non-tourists to die of the disease in Europe. Authorities in the two regions ordered universities to close until March 2.
Authorities in Lombardy have locked down about a dozen towns in the Lodi area, about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Milan.
Businesses and restaurants are closed, soccer matches were suspended, some schools were shut and municipalities suspended Mass.
More than 50,000 people are affected by the injunction just in Lombardy, according to newswire Ansa.
While three tourists had previously been confirmed with the virus, the new outbreak marks the first local cases.