Authorities in Italy announced the deaths of five more coronavirus patients on Thursday bringing the number of people who have died from the illness to 17.

The country’s civil protection agency released a statement on Thursday evening saying the number of overall cases had risen to 650. That number includes around 40 people who had been infected but are now fully recovered.
The agency’s chief Angelo Borrelli said there had been a total of five more deaths on Thursday, bringing the total to 17.

Italy has seen a huge surge in the number of cases since last Friday. Italy now has the highest number of people with the virus in Europe so far.
Since Sunday, more than 50,000 people have been confined to 10 towns in Lombardy and one in Veneto — a drastic measure is taken to halt the spread of the disease.

Italian government ministers have called for calm and stressed that Italy remains a safe country to visit, as most of the country remains unaffected by the virus.

According to the World Health Organisation, 80% of those who are infected with the virus only suffer mild symptoms such as a headache or soar throat.