Milan's historic Jamaica Bar and Restaurant defied a curfew imposed by the authorities on Tuesday, downplaying what some have called "mass hysteria' over the deadly Coronavirus.

Footage from Milan shows empty streets and restaurants, apart from Jamaica, which hosted a few visitors who agreed with Jamaica's owner Carlina Cretelli's decision to keep the place open after 6pm.

"Let me read the banner: Jamaica didn't close under the bombing, should it close because of mass hysteria? For me it is spectacular. The banner speaks for itself. It is mass hysteria," said Marco Ferrera, a visitor.

Cretelli also echoed the words of her customer, saying, "The logic is simple. If we didn't close during the bombings [WWII], closing because of Coronavirus would be an exaggeration."

"I believe this thing is blown out of proportion. Think about how many people die every year because of pollution in Italy. We should make simple calculations. I just ask to be reasonable," she added.

Cases of the virus, also known as COVID-19, have surged in Italy in recent days, with 322 confirmed cases, the highest number in Europe, mainly in the densely populated northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto - where the cities of Milan and Venice are located respectively -and eleven deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

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