Countrywide lockdown announced in Italy

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(Rome) – Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte extended measures to tackle the new coronavirus across the whole country, telling people to “stay at home” and banning public gathering as well as Serie A football matches.

The unprecedented measures covering the entire Mediterranean nation of more than 60 million people came into force after Italy reported 97 more deaths that took its toll to 463.

An AFP count showed Italy with more than half of the 862 deaths reported outside China as of Monday night.

“I am going to sign a decree that can be summarised as follows: I stay at home,” Conte announced in a dramatic evening television address.