As Italian towns are put on lockdown due to coronavirus, cases of 219 Covid-19 have been confirmed and five people have died, according to the Telegraph.
There has been a fifth death in northern Italy, officials have reported. Italian media reported that the dead patient was 88 and came from the region of Lombardy.
The four other people who have died of the illness were also elderly and at least three of them had been suffering serious underlying health problems, according to Reuters.
Seven northern regions faced varying degrees of closure of schools, universities, cinemas, museums, football matches and other events.
The unexpected closures and news of lock downs triggered panic buying in a number of northern cities as citizens stocked up on essentials.
Some 50,000 people are in lockdown in Italy as the country tries to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
Government authorities have urged calm and said there is no risk of food shortages or disruptions to the supply chain.