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Coronavirus: northern Italian towns close schools and businesses

Authorities act on cluster of infections in the Lombardy and Veneto regions

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after deaths of two people infected with the coronavirus from China, and a growing cluster of cases with no direct links to the origin of the outbreak abroad.

The secondary contagions prompted authorities in some Lombardy and Veneto towns to close schools, businesses and restaurants, and to cancel sporting events and religious services. The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shuttered public offices.

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