Milan is a town at the center of two global hotspots.
It is center stage in the Italian coronavirus outbreak, the key city in the Italian region of Lombardy, which has been at the center of a government-ordered shutdown.
It also widely is known in the polyurethane industry as the heart of one of the most innovative centers of polyurethane machinery manufacturing.
Two of those companies spoke about doing business under the current conditions.
Bruno Fierro, corporate director of marketing and communication at Cannon S.p.A. said his company is "applying all the recommendations suggested by our government, but we have no important delays or negative impacts on production."
Likewise, Marta Romano, marketing executive at Ekosystem S.r.l. added that "Lombardy has been affected by coronavirus, but, at the moment, there is no repercussion on our activities."
Both companies said that 2020 had started well, before the advent of the virus.
"We are very busy here," Romano said. "While coronavirus was spreading in China with huge and dramatic consequences, we were producing four different machines for the Chinese market. They all were shipped, and they are all now at the customers' site."
Fierro added that, like other manufacturing sectors, Cannon is concerned about the supply of components and materials from China.
"We are trying to control our supply chain, and it has delivered the materials and parts for our production plants that we need up to now. We cannot exclude the possibility that we will suffer some problems in the future but, I repeat, up to now the situation is under control," he said.
Romano said her company "only uses European components, but we hope there will be no delays in supply. We have a very busy pipeline up to December. But the situation is affecting the international supply chain."
The lock-down in Italy is a strong response but does not seem as thorough as the Chinese response. In China, only very limited social contact was allowed and people in affected regions were highly isolated.
The Italian government is allowing work to continue.
"Although, our government decided on a strong intervention to limit the contagion, the constraints we live under allow workers to reach working sites," Fierro explained. "It also allows the delivery of goods, without limitation. Companies have the continuity to do their job."
Romano added: "The sense of community must prevail over personal interest. With this in mind, we wish that our competitors and partners located in the north of Italy can continue working without any problem, and without any serious repercussions on their work and personal life."
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said March 11 it will start implementing temporary closures at some of its Italian plants, and Italy's largest dealer group said it will shut its doors until April 3 to help combat Europe's worst outbreak of the coronavirus.
A FCA spokesman said affected plants were in Pomigliano d'Arco, Melfi, Atessa and Cassino. Each factory will be halted for two or three days. Production is scheduled to restart on March 16.
FCA's move affects plants that account for 600,000 units a year and 4 percent of European vehicle production, Evercore ISI estimates.
FCA said in a statement it was taking additional steps to minimize the risk of spreading the virus among employees, including intensive sanitization of all work and rest areas, to support the government's directives to curb the spread of the infectious disease.
Automotive News Europe contributed to this report