Italian government to close schools, universities to contain coronavirus:Ansa

An empty class room is pictured inside the Bicocca University in Milan, Italy, March 2, 2020.REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government has decided to close schools and universities across the country until mid-March in a further attempt to contain the worst coronavirus outbreak in Europe, Ansa news agency reported on Wednesday.

The government shuttered schools and universities in the worst-affected regions in northern Italy some 10 days ago and quarantined a handful of towns at the epicenter of the outbreak. However, the contagion has spread, with at least 79 people dying and more than 2,500 infected.

Writing by Angelo Amante; Editing by Crispian Balmer