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Italian top-flight football matches postponed due to coronavirus

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the deaths of two people.

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Towns in northern Italy were left deserted (Luca Bruno/PA)

Towns in northern Italy were left deserted (Luca Bruno/PA)

Towns in northern Italy were left deserted (Luca Bruno/PA)

Three Serie A football matches scheduled for Sunday in the northern Italian regions of Lombardy and Veneto have been postponed after the deaths of two people from coronavirus.

On orders from the government, the Italian league games called off were: Inter Milan v Sampdoria, Atalanta v Sassuolo and Hellas Verona v Cagliari.

Three other matches in Genoa, Turin and Rome on Sunday are going ahead as scheduled.

Italy China Outbreak Europe
A man wearing a face mask is silhouetted against the window of a shop in Codogno (Luca Bruno/AP)

A dozen towns in northern Italy effectively went into lockdown on Saturday after the 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 local authorities in the Lombardy and Veneto regions to close schools, businesses and restaurants and to cancel sporting events and Masses.

The mayor of Milan, Italy’s business capital and the regional capital of Lombardy, shut public offices.

A 78-year-old man infected with the virus died in Veneto. A post-mortem on a 77-year-old woman in Lombardy came back positive, though it was not clear if illness from the virus caused her death.

PA