A 78-year old Italian who had tested positive for the coronavirus has died, Italy’s health minister said Friday.

The man had been in hospital in the northern region of Veneto for around 10 days for an unrelated illness, minister Roberto Speranza said.

The news broke after all public spaces in 10 towns in the northern region of Lombardy were closed, and sports events and religious masses cancelled, after a flurry of new virus cases.

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