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Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri has suspended operations at its facilities in the country for two weeks from 16 to 29 March due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The company’s announcement comes after Italian authorities reported 368 new deaths in the country, bringing the death toll to 1,809. Italy has 24,747 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

The company has carried out a series of actions to prevent and combat the spread of the Covid-19 in its shipyards.

In a statement, Fincantieri said: “In line with this, Fincantieri considers its key priorities once again – the protection of its personnel and subcontractors, as well as meeting the current needs of our country.

“For this reason, and as requested by the Italian trade unions in the March 12 press release of the FIM, FIOM and UILM secretariats, the company decided to suspend production activities at the Italian sites of Fincantieri.”

The suspension of activities for 14 days is expected to be consistent with the indications imposed by the health authorities regarding quarantine to reduce the chance of infection.

After two weeks, Fincantieri plans to restart operations at its shipyards and ship deliveries will be performed in compliance with the contractual deadlines.

In April 2019, Fincantieri JV delivered Fremm-class frigate Antonio Marceglia to the Italian Navy at its shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia).

Covid-19 has spread to more than 120 countries, including China, and prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare it as a global pandemic.