The Champions League encounter between Atalanta and Valencia last month was an ‘incredible accelerator for the infection’ of coronavirus, the director of the intensive care unit at Bergamo’s Pope Giovanni Hospital XXIII has said.
Earlier this week, Giorgio Gori, mayor of Bergamo, gave an interview – as cited by Marca – to say that the game “was a biological bomb.”
A report in Cadena Ser last week claimed that that the meeting in Milan last month is now thought to be the primary source of the mass spread of the virus in the northern Lombardy region of the country.
As of Thursday, there were 56,188 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Spain with 4,089 deaths while a further 3,679 Spaniards are currently in intensive care.
Spain is now behind only Italy on the global scale for the most deaths due to the virus, with the nation now 11 days into a 30-day state of lockdown.
Now, Luca Lorini – the intensive care director of Bergamo’s Giovanni Hospitali XXIII unit – has spoken that the Champions League game in Milan, played in front of 44,236 people, was a critical moment.
“I’m sure that 40,000 people hugging and kissing each other at a distance of one centimetre for four times, as Atalanta scored four times, well, those were an incredible accelerator for the infection,” Lorini explained, in quotes cited by ESPN.
“Now, was it something predictable? No, I don’t know if it was predictable.
“I don’t remember the date [of the match] Atalanta vs Valencia and I don’t remember if this epidemic had already outburst, but the people who went had no clue of what was going on.”
A statement from Valencia on 16 March confirmed 35% of their squad had tested positive and also mentioned having to play on February 19. in an ‘area confirmed high risk by the Italian authorities days later.’
Valencia players Ezequiel Garay, Jose Gaya and Eliaquim Mangala are among those who tested positive for the virus and are now in a period of quarantine.
Bergamo, the city where Atalanta are from, is the worst impacted in the entirety of the nation with the northern Lombardy region being the worst impacted in Europe so far.