Italian PM Conte Says Movement Will Be Restricted Across Nation Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

© REUTERS / CIRO DE LUCAItalian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte - Sputnik International
The Italian Civil Protection Agency reported earlier on Monday that the nation's death toll from the Wuhan coronavirus disease (COVID-19) grew by 96, to 463 over the past 24 hours, with the total number of those infected exceeding 9,100.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Monday introduced tough measures in a bid to tackle the spread of the so-called Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the prime minister, all schools and universities in Italy will be closed until April. Italian authorities have also imposed restrictions on free movement across the nation, unless travelers can show compelling reasons. Conte also said that all sports events, including football matches, will be canceled. All public events will be also banned amid the ongoing spread of the coronavirus.

“It is necessary to introduce even stricter measures… There will be no more red zones in the country. Across the whole territory of the peninsula it is necessary to avoid movements unless motivated by specific circumstances – proven work reasons or health reasons. To these measures we also add a ban on assembling outside in places open for public", Conte told reporters.

Public transport will remain operational, however. The wide-ranging measures are effective starting Tuesday morning, according to Conte.

“The future of Italy is in our hands. These hands must be responsible, today more than ever. There is also no reason to continue sport events.. Gyms will be closed and sport events will be halted. Educational activities across the whole country, be it schools or universities, will be suspended until April 3", Conte said.

A Czech police officer, with a protective mask, waits during sanitary checks on drivers at the border crossing between Germany and Czech Republic, near the German village of Furth and the Czech village Nova Kubice in a measure to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus, on March 9, 2020. - Sputnik International
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The prime minister argued that the measures will protect the most vulnerable citizens of the community.

Earlier in the day, Italian authorities forced the end of the mountain ski season, closing all ski resorts in the country, as part of measures to prevent the further spread of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Italy remains among those countries with the highest number of registered coronavirus cases, after China.

Over 110,000 cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have been confirmed across the globe, including nearly 4,000 deaths.

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