Italian wine fair Vinitaly postponed over coronavirus

MILAN, March 3 (Reuters) - Vinitaly, one of the largest international trade fairs for wine, has been postponed to mid-June as battles to contain an outbreak of the new coronavirus.

The fair was due to start April 19 in the Italian city of Verona, 70 kms from a small town that has been put under quarantine because of a high concentration of coronavirus cases.

Veronafiere, the group that organises Vinitaly, said in a statement on Tuesday that it was rescheduling the fair to June 14-17 to avoid difficulties in its promotional activities.

In the past few days, Milan's furniture and design fair and Bologna's cosmetic trade show Cosmoprof have also been put forward due to the coronavirus.

Twenty-seven people died in of the highly contagious illness over the past 24 hours, bringing the country's total number of dead to 79, the Civil Protection Agency said.

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The increase in deaths was the largest since the outbreak surfaced 12 days ago in the wealthy northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

(Reporting by Francesca Landini Editing by Leslie Adler)

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