What started in the city of Wuhan in China, the novel Coronavirus, which has now turned into a pandemic, has spread into other countries, and the most devastated impact has been suffered by Italy. The European country has the highest number of deaths at 7503, with over 74,000 positive cases reported. While the country has been under lock down and every major sporting event is cancelled, experts have gone through a thorough analysis on what could possible be the factor behind such a huge below from the virus, and it turns out, the UEFA Champions League match between Atalanta and Valencia back in 19th February.
More than month as passed since the La Dea defeated Valencia 4-1 in the Round of 16 first leg match at the San Siro Stadium. Acording to reports from the Associated Press, more than 40,000 people from the city of Bergamo was present for the game, which has now turned into a graveyard with the highest number of deaths in the country.
A total of over 7,000 Coronavirus cases have been registered in Bergamo, with at least 1,000 confirmed deaths, and has now been termed as the epicentre of the virus outbreak in Italy.
Just two days after the match, the first positive Coronavirus case was registered in the country, and which soon turned worse than imaginable, putting Italy into a nationwide lock down.
“We were mid-February so we didn’t have the circumstances of what was happening,” said Giorgio Gori, the Mayor of Bergamo.
“If it’s true what they’re saying that the virus was already circulating in Europe in January, then it’s very probable that 40,000 Bergamaschi in the stands of San Siro, all together, exchanged the virus between them,” Gori spoke to Foreign Press Association in Rome.
The spectators from Bergamo gathered up in Milan after Atalanta’s home stadium, the Stadio Atleti Azzurri was rejected by UEFA as not meeting the standards for a Champions League match. Following the match, they availed several public transport to return, which has been pointed out to be a major catalyst behind the virus spread in the country.
“As is possible that so many Bergamaschi that night got together in houses, bars to watch the match and did the same. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have known. No one knew the virus was already here,” the Mayor added.
Additionally, 35% of Valencia’s team had also tested positive, along with over 2600 reported cases from Valencia, the Spanish city from where around 2500 fans flew to Italy for the game.