Paris half-marathon cancelled over coronavirus fears

There are 16 new cases of coronavirus in France, taking to 73 the number of people affected since the end of January. Two have died of the epidemic.

The French government ordered the cancellation of “gatherings of more than 5,000 people” in enclosed areas as well as some external events.   -  Getty Images

The Paris half-marathon, which was scheduled for Sunday with 44,000 registered runners, has been cancelled over fears of coronavirus, officials said Saturday.

The announcement came after the French government ordered the cancellation of “gatherings of more than 5,000 people” in enclosed areas as well as some external events.

French Health Minister Olivier Veran said the cancellations of external events would affect gatherings in open areas where there would be “intermingling with populations from areas affected by the virus”.

READ:

The weekend programme of French Ligue 1 football matches is unaffected and will go ahead as planned, he said.

The weekend games are not taking place in areas of France most affected by the virus, the Oise region north of Paris and La Balme-de-Sillingy village in the southeastern Haute-Savoie region.

Veran said there were 16 new cases of coronavirus in France, taking to 73 the number of people affected since the end of January. Two people have died, a 60-year-old French teacher and an 80-year-old Chinese tourist.