February 25, 2020 / 5:33 PM / a month ago

Italy's neighboring countries will not close borders - minister

ROME, Feb 25 (Reuters) - Italy’s neighboring countries have committed not to close their borders, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Tuesday, as Rome’s government struggles to contain the biggest coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

“We agreed to keep borders open, closing borders would be a disproportionate and ineffective measure at this time,” Speranza told reporters after a meeting with fellow European health ministers in Rome, quoting a joint statement.

Some 322 cases of coronavirus were reported in Italy, with 10 deaths. The contagion was particularly strong in the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto, the country’s industrial and financial heartland. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Angelo Amante, editing by Giulia Segreti)

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