Coronavirus is ‘excuse by Italians to have a siesta’ says Dr Christian Jessen

Star of Embarrassing Bodies Dr. Christian Jessen has made some controversial remarks about the coronavirus pandemic, saying the virus is "an excuse by Italians to have a siesta".

During a conversation with radio host Stephen Leng on the latest installment of FUBAR Radio’s Access All Areas, the small screen star explained the Italians say "any old excuse" in order to "shut down everything".

When asked about his opinions on coronavirus, Christian replied: "This might be a little bit racist to say this, but you’ll have to make apologies, but do you not think it’s a bit of an excuse?

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"The Italians, any old excuse to, you know, shut down everything and stop work for a bit and have a long siesta!"

Dr Christian's comments come as the coronavirus death toll in Italy surpasses 1,000.

The conversation then moved onto Boris Johnson's decisions to delay closing schools, with the star of Channel 4’s Supersize vs Superskinny explaining: "I do agree with him actually, I think it’s an epidemic lived out more in the press than in reality.

"I mean if you think about flu right, without getting too heavy, flu kills thousands every single year.

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When told by Stephen that the recent figures are that 10 people had died in the UK from coronavirus, he added: "Now I know that’s tragic for those involved but it’s not exactly huge numbers is it compared to flu, which is thousands.

"It doesn’t affect mothers, it doesn’t affect pregnant women, it doesn’t affect children so far as we know. So why this massive panic?

"This is like a bad cold really, let’s be honest."

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He later labelled coronavirus "not a real epidemic".

Earlier today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson called coronavirus the "worst public health crisis for a generation" and warned that "many more" people would die.

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