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EU Parliament chief under self-quarantine as precaution

BRUSSELS

The head of the European Parliament said he was in self-quarantine at his Brussels home as precaution after having traveled to Italy over the last weekend.

“COVID-19 obliges everyone to be responsible and to be cautious”, David Sassoli said in a statement.

“For this reason, I have decided after having been in Italy […] to follow the indicated measures and to exercise my function as President from my home in Brussels in compliance with the 14 days indicated by the health protocol,” Sassoli added.

Italy is one of the worst affected countries from coronavirus with 463 deaths and 7,161 confirmed cases.

The European Parliament has already taken a series of precautionary measures to contain the spread of coronavirus in the past week.

First, all external conferences and visits were canceled, then Sassoli decided to organize the institution’s plenary session in Brussels, Belgium instead of commuting to Strasbourg, France.

On Monday, he ordered the usually four-day debate to be reduced to one day and to postpone most of the items on the agenda and the votes to the next plenary, expected to start on March 30.

The institution also highly encourages staffers to work from home.

The global death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 4,027 across the world, including 3,136 in China, where the virus outbreak first emerged last December.

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