Italy tightens lockdown as coronavirus deaths mount

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Italy ordered all but the most essential businesses to close until April 3, tightening a lockdown against the coronavirus, after nearly 800 people died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, on Saturday.

“Only production activities deemed vital for national production will be allowed,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a video posted to Facebook, but did not go into detail on the proposals to come into force via emergency decree on Sunday.

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Italy recorded 793 deaths on Saturday, with France and Spain and Germany also reporting steep rises in confirmed cases and fatalities.

Nearly 13,000 people around the world have now died from the disease, according to data collected by the Johns Hopkins University in the US. More than 304,500 people have been diagnosed with the infection, while nearly 92,000 have recovered.

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