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Italy: Governor accused of racism for wanting to test travellers from China

The Governor of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, has said that he was accused of being a racist in February when he suggested that travellers coming from China should be tested for the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Fontana, who is a member of Matteo Salvini’s nationalist Lega party, revealed the response to his warning during a debate in the Regional Council on Tuesday, according to a report by La Repubblica. He claimed that when he had suggested that people arriving from China should be tested for the virus on February 3, he was assured by Italy’s Left-wing Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, that the country was in no danger of a mass outbreak because the medical system was too well-prepared for it.
Fontana added that some of his colleagues had called him a racist at the time for suggesting the tests, and said that he had been “mocked with insolent words” and that he had been offended by the remarks. He also claimed that he was told that ordering the testing would lead to a loss of Italy’s standing in the eyes of the world.

Lombardy is the region of Italy which has suffered the most during the coronavirus outbreak. Overall, Italy has had the most confirmed cases of coronavirus infection of any European country. The first cases in Italy appeared at the end of January, when two Chinese tourists were confirmed to have it.

The first significant outbreak was discovered on February 21 in Lombardy, when there were 16 confirmed cases.
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Voice Of Europe
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