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02:38

Italy: Tourists in Milan speak of spreading panic amid coronavirus outbreak

Italy, Milan
February 24, 2020 at 16:25 GMT +00:00 · Published

Seven people have died after contracting the coronavirus in northern Italy, prompting authorities to suspend public events and shutting down schools, universities and museums for one week as the number of confirmed cases in the country reached 229 on Monday.

In Milan, famous venues such as the Duomo Cathedral, the La Scala theatre and Bocconi University were temporarily closed.

Tourists visiting the city expressed concerns over the spread of the disease but praised public authorities for their first response to the emergency.

"I wasn't worried when I got here but now, when you see everyone else worrying it's like maybe I should be worried too," said a tourist.

Another downplayed the risk posed by the virus and warned against an overreaction of residents. "All the grocery stores, there's no more food, it's not a zombie movie."

Cases of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, have surged in Italy in recent days, with 215 confirmed cases, the highest number in Europe, mainly in the densely populated northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto - where the cities of Milan and Venice are located respectively -and four deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

02:38
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Description

Seven people have died after contracting the coronavirus in northern Italy, prompting authorities to suspend public events and shutting down schools, universities and museums for one week as the number of confirmed cases in the country reached 229 on Monday.

In Milan, famous venues such as the Duomo Cathedral, the La Scala theatre and Bocconi University were temporarily closed.

Tourists visiting the city expressed concerns over the spread of the disease but praised public authorities for their first response to the emergency.

"I wasn't worried when I got here but now, when you see everyone else worrying it's like maybe I should be worried too," said a tourist.

Another downplayed the risk posed by the virus and warned against an overreaction of residents. "All the grocery stores, there's no more food, it's not a zombie movie."

Cases of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, have surged in Italy in recent days, with 215 confirmed cases, the highest number in Europe, mainly in the densely populated northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto - where the cities of Milan and Venice are located respectively -and four deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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