Thailand GP to go ahead despite coronavirus threat

This year’s Thailand Grand Prix, which is due to be the second round of the 2020 MotoGP season, will go ahead despite uncertainty over the coronavirus outbreak in the region. 

The novel coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has killed 1,775 people since the outbreak and has infected an estimated 71,329 people worldwide.

The outbreak has effectively shut down access to and from China, and has forced the postponement and cancellation of numerous sporting events – most notably the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix, which was due to take place in April.

With the proximity of Thailand to China, concerns were raised about running the Thai MotoGP race.

A statement released by MotoGP says the FIM (governing body), teams’ association (IRTA), and series owners Dorna Sports consulted with the Ministry for Public Health and Department for Disease Control in Thailand, which has “communicated, on behalf of the Royal Thai government, that there is no major risk” of coronavirus in the country.

As a result, the race will go ahead on 20-22 March as planned.

The full statement reads: “Following communication from the Thai government, the FIM, IRTA and Dorna Sports can confirm that the OR Thailand Grand Prix will go ahead next month.

“With the outbreak of coronavirus affecting a number of locations and events worldwide, the decision required official consideration as the situation in Thailand was monitored.

“After consulting with the Ministry of Public Health’s Department of Disease Control, the Sports Authority of Thailand has officially communicated, on behalf of the Royal Thai government, that there is no major risk, with the country having infected patients under care and strict preventive measures in place – resulting in the highest rate of fully recovered patients worldwide.

“The FIM, IRTA and Dorna therefore confirm that MotoGP will be back at Buriram from the 20th to 22nd March for another spectacular Thai GP.”

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