PHILADELPHIA - Coronavirus fears have hit San Francisco's thriving Chinese community hard. The city's Chinatown is virtually a ghost town. A man who owns four restaurants there says business is down 50 to 70 percent. He had to lay off 20 part-time workers and is considering temporarily closing one of the restaurants. It's the exact kind of thing that city leaders in Philadelphia are trying to avoid.
Mayor Kenney and other city officials stopped in Chinatown Thursday to try to alleviate any fears people may have about visiting the neighborhood.
“We’re trying to get the word out through the media that Chinatown is safe, the city’s safe, the state’s safe, the country’s safe. Everybody should relax. We have enough strong public health services to make that nothing gets out of control," Mayor Kenney said.
Former Mayor John Street used a similar tactic in 2003 during the SARS scare.
Despite zero cases of coronavirus in Philadelphia, unnecessary fear is hurting restaurants; however, the city health commissioner says people should be more worried about the flu than this.
“The coronavirus is not spreading in Philadelphia right now. There is a global public health risk but we’re not seeing it in Philadelphia. This infection really does not appear to be that easy to spread," Philadelphia Health Commissioner Thomas Farley said.
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