Parts of northern Italy locked down amid coronavirus fears

Parts of northern Italy locked down amid coronavirus fears
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A dozen towns in northern Italy were put on lockdown Saturday after two people in the region died from the coronavirus.

The shutdown occurred after a woman in the Lombardy region and an elderly man in the Veneto region died within hours of each other, USA Today reported.

“Although the window of opportunity is narrowing to contain the outbreak, we still have a chance to contain it,” World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday.

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“But while doing that, we have to prepare at the same time for any eventualities, because this outbreak could go any direction – it could even be messy,” he added.

Authorities in Italy shuttered schools, businesses and restaurants and canceled sporting events. Milan, the country's business capital, also saw public offices closed, according to USA Today.

Italian officials have reported 62 cases of the coronavirus. Overall, the illness has infected at least 77,900 people worldwide and killed at least 2,360 people, the majority in mainland China, where the outbreak began.

The U.S. has reported 35 cases of the coronavirus but no deaths.