China and Hong Kong have had to withdraw from this week’s Badminton Asia Team Championships in Manila due to the Coronavirus outbreak. More than 42,000 people have been infected by the flu-like virus in mainland China, with authorities confirming more than 1,000 deaths.
The Philippines has temporarily banned all travellers from China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan due to the outbreak, leaving organisers scrambling to try to arrange visas for players and officials for the Feb 11-16 event.
“The decision to impose the 14 days quarantine period for all travellers coming from China, Hong Kong, and Macau has to be respected in view of the health and safety of the Philippines government for its people,” Badminton Asia said in a statement.
“It is in this respect that the above event will not see the teams from China and Hong Kong competing.”
The event, which runs until Sunday in the Philippines capital, is the Asian qualifying event for the sport’s Thomas and Uber Cup team championships later this year. It also serves as part of the qualification process for this year’s Tokyo Olympics.
The Indian women’s team also withdrew after concerns were raised by players and their parents, said the Badminton Association of India (BAI).
“After receiving complete assurances from Badminton Asia, the men’s team agreed to travel and confirmed their participation however, the women’s team was withdrawn,” said a BAI statement.
There have been more than 42,000 people infected in China where more than 1,000 people have died, mainly around the outbreak’s epicentre in the central city of Wuhan. Elsewhere there have been more than 460 infections in 28 countries with two deaths, one in the Philippines and the other in Hong Kong.