The coronavirus outbreak has so far forced Olympic qualifier events for basketball, boxing and more to be moved from China and now the World Athletics Indoor Championships, which were scheduled to take place in Nanjing from March 13-15, have been affected as well. As many as 170 people have died, while over 1700 cases have been registered in China alone.Health authorities around the world are taking action to prevent a global pandemic as the virus continues to spread, with cases reported in Australia, France, the United States and several Asian countries besides China.
There have been nearly 6,000 confirmed cases in China, with the death toll standing at 132.
While the group considered moving the Championships to another country, it decided against that because "concerns still exist regarding the spread of the virus outside China".
A coach of one athlete in the Midwest said before Wednesday's announcement that the risk would be too great and that he was already pulling his athlete out of competition at the USATF Indoor Championships, which will be held at the Albuquerque Events Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from February 14-15.
The sport's governing body said it had taken the decision following advice from its own medical team and the World Health Organisation, and will look to reschedule the event for March 2021.
The World Athletics Federation most well-liked to not attribute the occasion to a different nation, to offer China time to prepare it a yr later, in response to a press release.
The cancellation marks the biggest athletic event to be uprooted as the coronavirus leads to travel cancellations in and out of mainland China.
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It comes on the heels of the World Health Organisation declaring an global public health emergency as cases continue to spread. Later on Friday, a plane carrying 83 Britons from Wuhan is due to land at the Brize Norton RAF base in Oxfordshire.
US advises no travel to China, where virus deaths top 200
Stocks around the world have tumbled on fears of the economic fallout from the outbreak in the world's second-biggest economy. Several foreign governments evacuating citizens from Hubei are holding them in quarantine for a 14-day incubation period.