EU health chiefs plan coronavirus summit as sports events face disruption

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EU well being ministers introduced on Friday evening they are going to meet subsequent week to thrash out a plan to fight the unfold of the coronavirus. The transfer got here as organisers of sporting and leisure occasions all through the continent declared cancellations, postponements or closed stadiums as a result of outbreak.

Simply hours earlier than a European Commission spokesman mentioned on Twitter that the well being chiefs would collect subsequent Friday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) upgraded the worldwide threat.

“We now have now elevated our evaluation of the danger of unfold and the danger of impression of COVID-19 to very excessive at world degree,” mentioned WHO boss Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

In Italy, the place the most important variety of instances in Europe has emerged, 5 soccer matches within the first division – together with Sunday’s prime of the desk conflict between Juventus and Inter Milan – might be performed behind closed doorways.


The Swiss authorities on Friday mentioned it was suspending all occasions within the nation involving greater than 1,00zero contributors. All soccer matches within the first division have additionally been postponed.

In England, Steve Bruce, the Newcastle United supervisor, revealed on Friday that the membership had launched a handshake ban to guard towards the unfold of the virus.

“There is a ritual right here that everyone shakes fingers with everyone as quickly as we see one another each morning,” mentioned Bruce forward of the Premier League sport towards Burnley.


“We have stopped that on the recommendation of the physician. “We’re like everyone else. We’re glued to the TV for the place it should go subsequent and let’s hope it would not get any worse on this nation.”

Outdoors Europe, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, urged organisers of main occasions to think about their cancellation as he referred to as for faculties to shut from 2 March for a number of weeks to stop the unfold of the coronavirus.

Authorities have mentioned the approaching two to 3 weeks might be essential in figuring out whether or not they can stem the outbreak of the virus, which has contaminated almost 200 individuals within the nation and been linked to the deaths of three.

“It is extraordinarily essential to stop one affected person cluster from creating one other and we expect we should always take thorough measures,” Abe mentioned.


Sanzar’s Super Rugby competitors comprising groups from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and Japan responded to Abe’s name on Friday.

Two residence video games of the Sunwolves franchise have been relocated from Japan to Australia.

The Sunwolves, who’re in New Zealand for a match on Saturday in Wellington towards the Hurricanes, have been scheduled to play the Australian outfit Brumbies on eight March in Osaka.

Nevertheless the sport might be performed in Wollongong, south of Sydney, on 10 March. The match towards the Crusaders from New Zealand which was due for Tokyo will happen in Brisbane on 14 March.


“It was pretty clear that we needed to revamp the calendar to comply with the directives of the Japanese authorities and well being authorities,” mentioned Sanzar chief Andy Marinos.

Authorities in Japan face additional strain to eradicate the virus. Tokyo is because of host the Olympic Video games from 24 July for simply over two weeks.

Thomas Bach, the IOC president, informed Kyodo information company: “The precedence is to make sure the qualification process and defending the security of athletes on the similar time.”

He added: “That is what we’re doing in cooperation with the Japanese authorities, the WHO, the Chinese language olympic committee and lots of nationwide olympic committees.”

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