Italy on Sunday quarantined 14 provinces as well as the northern Lombardy region – 16 million people, about a quarter of the country’s population – to prevent further spread of the coronavirus outbreak. 

“We created two regions. One of them concerns Lombardy and the other concerns various provinces. We will apply a stricter security procedure to these two zones, and there will be a restriction on entries and exits,” Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a press conference.

To date coronavirus has claimed 233 lives in Italy. The number of confirmed cases climbed to 5,061, making it the hardest-hit

Read more: Coronavirus: Italy quarantines 14 cities, Lombardy