Coronavirus: Several football games in Italy called off after second death

A man wearing a surgical mask walks along a deserted street in the Italian town of Codogno
The Italian town of Codogno has been placed on lockdown in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus

A number of football matches in Italy have been postponed over fears of the spread of coronavirus.

A woman from the northern region of Lombardy is the second person in Italy to die from the virus in the past 24 hours.

Cremonese's Serie B match against Ascoli and Piacenza v Sambenedettese in Serie C are among those postponed.

Serie D matches and a number of amateur and youth games in the Lombardy and Veneto regions are also called off.

The Cremonese squad had already travelled to Ascoli's Cino e Lillo Del Duca Stadium in the central Marche region of the country before being informed that the game had been postponed.

Several towns in the Lombardy region have been placed on lockdown, with schools and offices closed and residents urged to stay away from accident and emergency departments.

The new virus, which originated last year in the Hubei province in China, causes a respiratory disease called Covid-19.

China has reported 75,567 cases of the virus, including 2,239 deaths.

Outside China, more than 1,200 cases of the virus have been confirmed in 26 countries and there have been at least eight deaths, according to the World Health Organization.

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