Updated Mar 8, 2020 - Health

Italy quarantines 16M as northern region placed on coronavirus lockdown

Tourists with protective face masks take a selfie on the Rialto Bridge on March 06, 2020 in Venice, Italy.
Tourists on the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy, on Friday. Photo: Stefano Mazzola/Awakening/Getty Images

Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a decree Saturday putting much of the country's north — including Venice and Milan — on lockdown Saturday to try to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Why it matters: Italy has the largest number of cases in Europe — 5,883 by early Sunday, per Johns Hopkins University data. At least 16 million people are now in mandatory quarantine in the Lombardy region, along with 14 provinces, the BBC notes. Among those to test positive is the head of Italy’s Democratic Party, Nicola Zingaretti, per Bloomberg.

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