on air now

Lord Mayor says coronavirus fears are keeping Melburnians out of Chinatown

Melbourne’s Chinatown is much quieter than usual as a result of the coronavirus epidemic, according to the lord mayor.

Lord Mayor Sally Capp told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell the usually bustling area of the city is “absolutely” feeling the effects of the outbreak.

She said crowd numbers at the Chinese New Year Festival held in Chinatown on Sunday indicated an environment of fear.

“Crowds were very down, or much reduced,” she said.

“We understand why but the fact is that all of the health advice tells us that it’s safe here in Melbourne and that we are not at risk of major spread of the coronavirus. We went ahead with the festival on that basis.”

Ms Capp urged people not to stay out of the city out of fear.

“We want people to know that they can come into town and still have fun and enjoy themselves and it’s still safe to do so,” she said.

Press PLAY below for the full interview.