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Italy quarantines northern regions to stop virus' advance

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Posted at 1:54 AM, Mar 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-08 14:55:44-04

BY PAOLO SANTALUCIA AND YURI KAGEYAMA, ROME — Italy's prime minister has announced a sweeping coronavirus quarantine, restricting the movements of about a quarter of the country's population in a bid to limit contagions at the epicenter of Europe's outbreak.

Shortly after midnight Sunday, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree affecting about 16 million people in the country's prosperous north, including the Lombardy region and at least 15 provinces in neighboring regions.

The measures will be in place until April 3.

Western countries have been increasingly imitating China – where the virus first emerged late last year — by imposing travel controls and shutting down public events.