Coronavirus: Atalanta x Valencia 'was a biological bomb', says mayor of Bergamo

Coronavirus: Atalanta x Valencia 'was a biological bomb', says mayor of Bergamo”

The mayor of Bergamo, one of the most affected cities in Italy, has called Atalanta's game against Valencia in San Siro a "biological bomb, quot; for the coronavirus".

Giorgio Gori, mayor of Bergamo, gave an interview - as cited by Marca - to say that the game "was a biological bomb." as the Northern Italy, where the match happened has been the epicentre of it.

Fabiano di Marco, chief pneumologist at a Bergamo hospital, shared his theory that the outbreak started when on 19 February, around 40,000 Bergamaschi went to San Siro for Atalanta-Valencia, the report added. "If it's true what they're saying that the virus was already circulating in Europe in January, then it's very possible that 40,000 Bergamaschi within the stands of San Siro, all collectively, exchanged the virus between them". Three weeks later, 3,033 people died in a week in Bergamo. "The virus passed from person to person".

"I've heard rather a lot (of theories), I'll say mine: February 19, 40,000 Bergamaschi went to San Siro for Atalanta-Valencia", Fabiano di Marco, the chief pneumologist on the hospital in Bergamo, advised Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera.

At that point in the pandemic, Wuhan had already been on lockdown for weeks and there were confirmed cases as far as the U.S. The virus still felt distant somehow despite that in all likelihood it was already circulating in Italy and beyond.

Nearly 2,500 followers of visiting Spanish membership Valencia additionally traveled to that Champions League match.

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"What we didn't know was just how contagious it was but obviously today we know how quickly the virus can spread". Almost a month later, with the virus now in full swing in northern Italy, Atalanta still travelled to Spain on March 10 for the second leg of the tie.

Regarding the unusually lethal nature of the outbreak there, an Italian immunologist pointed to Bergamo's status as an economic and social centre, as well as to the reputation of the region's inhabitants for being hard-working and industrious, suggesting they may have been more inclined than some others to shrug off symptoms of illness and continue with their daily lives.

"I'm sure that 40,000 people hugging and kissing each other while standing a centimetre apart - four times, because Atalanta scored four goals (the final result was 4-1) - was definitely a huge accelerator for contagion", Lorini told AP.

With the Champions League suspended due to the pandemic, Atalanta has no concept when it would play within the quarterfinals - which once more can be the membership's largest sport in its historical past.

The return match was played on March 10, but Valencia was required to host Atalanta at the Mestalla Stadium behind close doors. "With hindsight, it was madness to play with a crowd present, but at the time things weren't clear enough".

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