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Photo: MTI/EPA/ANSA/Angelo Carconi

Some Italian medical professionals have suggested that people should not panic over the novel coronavirus and should acquire information from reliable sources.

The number of people infected by the virus in Italy continues to rise. As of Wednesday, a total of 400 people tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Italy. The number includes the death tally, which remained unchanged at 12, and three who have recovered.

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Scores of schools, offices and factories are closed and sports events are postponed due to the epidemic. Economists warn that the impact of the epidemic on Italy’s tourism and manufacturing sectors could lead to another recession.

Though it is true that the novel coronavirus can be deadly, people over-estimate how serious the problem is, said Giovanni Maga, an expert from Italy’s Institute of Molecular Genetics at the IGM-CNR National Research Council.

“In the infected areas, people should simply follow the instructions of health workers. In those areas, the goal is basically to care for the ill and limit movement to prevent the virus from spreading,” Maga said.

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Giorgio Palu, a professor of microbiology and virology from the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Padova, said misinformation is stoking the fears of the public.

“There are too many people who are giving their opinions on the coronavirus on television and in the public without understanding it,” Palu said in an interview.
Some people may be well-intentioned but they are misinformed, and they can spread inaccurate information, according to Palu.

Fabrizio Pregliasco, a researcher at the Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health at the University of Milan, also said people should remain prudent.

He recommended widely-accepted guidelines such as regularly washing hands and staying clear of big crowds and areas where infections have been identified.

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“I don’t think people should let their guard down, but this doesn’t need to be an overwhelming worry for people,” Pregliasco told Xinhua.

“Public institutions should be concerned because it’s up to them to stay on top of the situation and keep people informed,” Pregliasco said.

Source: Xinhua – ROME

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