February 5, 2020 / 1:25 PM / 14 days ago

Motor racing-Chinese GP in doubt as Shanghai suspends all sporting events

SHANGHAI, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Shanghai sports authorities have recommended the suspension of all sporting events in the city due to the coronavirus outbreak, casting further doubt on whether the Chinese Grand Prix will take place.

The fourth grand prix of the season is scheduled for April 19 in Shanghai and the viability of the race will be discussed by Formula One bosses this week amid speculation it could join the growing list of sports events already postponed or cancelled.

The Shanghai Sports General Association, in a notice on Wednesday, instructed all sporting bodies to suspend sport events until the threat is over and “formulate a plan for epidemic prevention to avoid internal infections”.

“Organisations should also implement a daily hygiene management system and strengthen health education to urge employees to protect themselves,” it added.

China said another 65 people had died as of Tuesday, the highest daily total yet, taking the overall toll on the mainland to 490, most in and around the locked-down central city of Wuhan, where the virus emerged late last year.

The outbreak has affected numerous international sports events in China. Among them was the world indoor athletics championships scheduled to be held in Nanjing on March 13-15, which have been postponed until next year.

The all-electric Formula E motor racing series has abandoned plans for a race in Sanya next month.

Basketball, badminton and boxing qualifying tournaments for this year’s Tokyo Olympics have also been postponed, rescheduled or moved, while an LPGA Tour golf tournament has been moved to next year.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Shanghai Newsroom; Editing by Alison Williams

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