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Italy reports fourth coronavirus death

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Italian Finance guards(Guardia di Finanza) officers talk to a person in a car at the entrance of the small town of Casalpusterlengo, southeast of Milan, on February 24, 2020, under the shadow of a new coronavirus outbreak, as Italy took drastic containment steps as worldwide fears over the epidemic spiralled. (Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP)

Italy reported Monday its fourth death from the new coronavirus, an 84-year old man in the northern Lombardy region, as the number of people contracting the virus continued to mount.

It was the third death in Lombardy, where villages have been put in lockdown and security measures enforced in a bid to stem the spread of the disease, the region’s health department said.

The head of Italy’s civil protection department, Angelo Borrelli, said Sunday that more than 150 people had now tested positive for the virus in the country, which has the most number of confirmed cases in Europe.

Eleven towns — 10 in Lombardy and one in neighbouring Veneto — are under lockdown, with some 50,000 residents prohibited from leaving.

Regional authorities have ordered gathering spots, such as bars, restaurants and discos to close.

The spread of the virus has disrupted high profile events including Milan Fashion Week and the Venice Carnival while Serie A football matches have been postponed. Operas have also had to be cancelled at Milan’s famed La Scala.

Most of the cases in Italy are in Lombardy, a prosperous region in the country’s north, and can be traced back to a 38-year-old man whom authorities have called “patient one”.

Investigators, there are reconstructing minute by minute the man’s movements over the past few weeks — where he slept, ate, walked — in a bid to trace everyone he could have come into contact with.


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