government to extend lockdown measures until Easter - health minister

, March 30 (Reuters) - The Italian government on Monday said it would extend a lockdown to prevent a further spread of the coronavirus outbreak at least until Easter, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a statement.

"Our evaluation is that all containment measures should be extended at least until Easter (April 12). The government will move in this direction," the health minister said after a meeting with the scientific committee.

Italians have been under lockdown for three weeks and the restrictions were due to end on Friday.

, the world's hardest hit country which accounts for more than a third of all global fatalities, saw its total death tally rise to 11,591 since the outbreak emerged in northern regions on Feb. 21. (Reporting by Angelo Amante Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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