Italy isolates towns after coronavirus cases jump

Italian authorities locked down about a dozen small towns and canceled public events in the northern part of the country on Sunday after the number of coronavirus cases in the country soared from three to 152 over just a few days.

The surge in Italy, which now has the most cases outside Asia, followed a similar spike in South Korea that caused that country’s government to raise its national threat alert to its highest level.

South Korea had 169 new confirmed cases on Sunday. Iran also is fighting a rapid rise in the number of people infected with the flu-like virus, officially known as COVID-19.

Iran has confirmed eight deaths from the outbreak, the most outside China.

Beijing is postponing its biggest annual political event, the National People’s Congress, as it focuses on containing the outbreak.

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