Fifth coronavirus death in Italy as infections mount

25 February, 2020 12:00 AM printer

CASALPUSTERLENGO: Italy reported on Monday its fifth death from the new coronavirus, as the number of people contracting the disease continued to mount and officials called for calm, reports AFP.

The death of an 88-year-old man was the fourth in the northern Lombardy region, where villages have been put under lockdown and security measures enforced in a bid to stem the spread of the disease.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has said that residents could face weeks in lockdown in an effort to sit out the virus.

Angelo Borrelli, head of the country’s civil protection agency, said 219 people had now tested positive in Italy, which has the most confirmed cases in Europe.

Five people have died of the virus in the past four days, including one in the Veneto region.

An Alitalia flight from Rome was being held in Mauritius Monday, after 40 people from Lombady and Veneto were told they could not disembark unless they consented to being placed in quarantine. Alitalia said it was arranging for their immediate repatriation instead, despite none of the passengers showing any symptoms.