Rome – Italy’s tourism ministry said Thursday that the country will be forced to evacuate its second-largest city of Rimini because of a coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 10,000 people.
The government said the government is now considering sending the city’s remaining residents back to Rimini.
The city is located near the border with France and the only place outside the country to visit is the tourist-heavy southern region of the Adriatic Sea, where most of Italy’s foreign tourists come.
It is the only Italian city to be directly threatened by the virus, which has sickened more than 11,000 since it emerged in October.
The disease has killed at least 10,948 people, including 5,823 in Italy and nearly 6,000 in France.
Italy’s Interior Ministry said it will evacuate the entire city of 8 million people as soon as possible.
The ministry said Rimini is the worst-hit of the affected areas.
We cannot stop the crisis, we are facing the worst,” Interior Minister Andrea Trevisan told reporters.
He said the city will be closed on Wednesday.
In the meantime, Rome has already evacuated about 3,000 tourists, including 2,000 from the city of Brescia.