Austria said Wednesday it will close its national museums and suspend all remaining trains to neighboring Italy to stem the spread of the new coronavirus.

Italy recorded 6,153 new cases in last 24 hours, its biggest rise in last five days.

After more than two weeks of a nationwide lockdown, the Italian government decided to expand the mandatory closure of nonessential commercial activities to heavy industry in the eurozone’s third-largest economy, a major exporter of machinery, textiles and other goods.


Italy has also become the first western developed nation to idle most of its industry to halt the spread of the coronavirus, a potential cautionary tale for other governments, such as the Trump administration, that are resisting such drastic measures.

Most infections were registered in the hard-hit northern region near Milan. Europe now accounts for 70% of known fatalities.


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