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Italian schools to close until March 15 amid Covid-19 outbreak

The measure was announced by education minister Lucia Azzolina.

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A woman wears a mask as she walks in the Porta Nuova business district in Milan, Italy (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse/AP)

A woman wears a mask as she walks in the Porta Nuova business district in Milan, Italy (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse/AP)

A woman wears a mask as she walks in the Porta Nuova business district in Milan, Italy (Claudio Furlan/LaPresse/AP)

Italy has ordered schools to close nationwide until March 15 in a bid to contain Covid-19, saying the “prudent suspension” was taken after a careful analysis of how the epidemic was spreading.

Civil protection officials said on Wednesday a total of 3,089 people have tested positive in Italy and 107 of them had died, the largest number of deaths outside of China.

Italy’s education minister Lucia Azzolina announced the school suspensions, which start on Thursday, saying she hoped schools would be able to continue with lessons via distance learning.

Italy has seen its virus caseload explode since the first homegrown positive test was registered in northern Lombardy on February 19.

Italy had earlier closed schools in the hard-hit regions of Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna.

PA