The event director in charge of the London Marathon has announced on Friday afternoon the event is now postponed until 4 October.
Hugh Brasher, event director for the Virgin Money London Marathon said, “The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of COVID-19 and public health is everyone’s priority.
“We know how disappointing this news will be for so many – the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds and the millions who watch the race every year.
“We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received from City Hall, the London boroughs of Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, the City of Westminster and the City of London, Transport for London, the emergency services, The Royal Parks, BBC TV and many others as we worked to find an alternative date.
“The 40th Race is scheduled to go ahead on Sunday 4 October 2020.
“We know that there will be many, many questions from runners, charities and others and we ask you to please bear with us as we work through the detailed planning process to deliver the 2020 Virgin Money London Marathon on its new scheduled date.
“We will email all runners and charities today and then update them via email by the end of next week at the latest. We will also post regular updates on our website and social media channels.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said Europe is now the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.
Over 5,000 people have died across the world and almost 140,000 are infected with the virus across 127 countries.
WHO director general, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a conference on Friday, the death toll is a “tragic milestone.”
He said, “Europe has now become the epicentre of the pandemic, with more reported cases and deaths than the rest of the world combined, apart from China.
“More cases are now being reported every day than were reported in China at the height of its epidemic.”
A patient infected with coronavirus has died in Scotland, the country’s first fatality bringing the total confirmed deaths in the UK to 11.
The Department of Health announced, as of 9am 13 March 2020, a total of 32,771 people have been tested: 31,973 negative.
In the UK the number of confirmed cases in one day has soared by 208 to a total of 798 positive cases.
The former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has questioned Boris Johnson’s strategy in tackling the coronavirus and said it is “concerning.”
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