ROME, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- A total of 152 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Italy, including three deaths and one recovery, said Angelo Borrelli, head of the country's civil protection department, on Sunday.

The total includes 110 cases in the northern region of Lombardy, 21 in the northeastern region of Veneto, and nine in the northern region of Emilia-Romagna, Borrelli said at a televised press conference, adding that an Italian researcher has made a full recovery.

Giulio Gallera, Lombardy's regional council member for welfare, said in the televised press conference on Sunday that an elderly cancer patient infected with the virus was the third person to have died from the sickness in Italy.

Eleven towns, 10 in Lombardy and one in Veneto, are under lockdown.

Local authorities have issued bans, closing several gathering spots and prohibiting people from entering or leaving the affected areas.

Several economic measures have been taken in the virus-hit regions, including suspending tax and mortgage payments and asking workers to stay home, reports said on Sunday.

"We are evaluating measures to assist workers who are banned from going to work," Italy's Labour Minister Nunzia Catalfo said.

On Sunday, Veneto Governor Luca Zaia said the Venice Carnival was canceled.

The Ministry of Education said schools in the affected areas will remain closed until Feb. 29, while four Serie A football matches have been suspended.