WATCH: Onlookers flee as suspected coronavirus patient wheeled through Florence train station

As Italy struggles to get to grips with a burgeoning coronavirus outbreak onlookers were caught on camera fleeing in apparent panic as a suspected patient was wheeled through Florence’s main train station.

An eyewitness captured footage of a team clad in white anti-contamination suits wheeling the patient out of Florence Santa Maria Novella on a stretcher escorted by several police officers.

A group of travellers can be seen running away from the surreal scene as the group approaches. One of the masked medics signals at the person recording the incident to put away their camera as the trolley passes by.

The patient was a 66-year-old woman who was returning from Venice when she fell ill, local newspaper La Nazione reports. After suffering a major coughing attack the woman had the presence of mind to call her doctor.

She then rang a special hotline which triggered the dramatic intervention at the train station. Fortunately testing has revealed that the woman had not contracted the virus, which has claimed 12 lives in Italy.

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Wednesday saw the number of confirmed cases in Italy climb to 52 and the Italian government banned all sports events in six regions up to and including Sunday, although top-flight Serie A soccer matches can be played behind closed doors.

The Six Nations rugby clash between Ireland and Italy in Dublin on March 7 has also been postponed following a recommendation from the Irish Department of Health.

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