By Baris Seckin
ROME (AA) - The Italian government decided to limit entrance and exit points Sunday in a bid to take control of the coronavirus after the number of confirmed cases there approached 80.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte gathered his Cabinet shortly after the increase of registered cases of coronavirus, or COVID-19, and delivered remarks about the current situation and upcoming measures.
Conte said his administration worked hard to prevent a large-scale outbreak and essential measures were taken in the Lombardy and Veneto regions, where cases have been observed, adding entrance and exit from and to those regions would be monitored.
He went on to say that people would not be permitted in or out of those areas, with the rare exception, and those refusing the policy could be fined.
Civil Defense Director Angelo Borrelli said there was now 76 confirmed cases, including 18 in critical condition. The virus has claimed two lives in Italy.
Education Minister Lucia Azzolina said education would be paused Feb. 24 to 29 in regions facing a coronavirus risk.
Chinese authorities announced Friday that the death toll from the virus reached 2,238.
The country's National Health Commission said there are 75,465 confirmed cases.
More than 18,260 people have been discharged from hospitals after receiving treatment.
Coronavirus has spread to more than 25 other countries including the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, France, Russia, Spain, and India.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the outbreak an international health emergency.
*Writing by Ali Murat Alhas