MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. The Russian national team of gymnasts has decided to withdraw from the 2020 FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) Grand Prix ‘Deryugina Cup’ in Ukraine’s Kiev on March 21-22 over the novel coronavirus pandemic, a source in the Ukrainian Gymnastics Federation told TASS on Friday.
“Unfortunately, the national team of Russia has decided to cancel its participation in our Grand Prix,” the source said.
“The reason for withdrawing from the tournament is the situation with the novel coronavirus,” she continued. “We initially received a notification from the [Russian] team that it planned to attend, but later we received a letter that the team is not coming.”
“It is very disappointing how the situation keeps developing as a number of other national teams also decided against taking part in the tournament,” the source commented adding that among the teams, which decided to skip the tournament in Kiev over the novel coronavirus pandemic are the squads from Italy, Spain, Germany and other countries.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, an economic and industrial megalopolis with a population of 11 million.
The virus was identified on January 7 as 2019-nCoV. The World Health Organization declared in January that the new coronavirus outbreak was a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations.
On February 11, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the organization gave the novel coronavirus an official name of COVID-19. On March 11, the World Health Organization officially stated that the continuously spreading novel coronavirus was a global pandemic.
As of today, 131 countries and territories reported confirmed coronavirus cases. According to the latest reports, over 137,700 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide. The virus’ death toll has reached 5,080, yet more than 70,690 patients have recovered from the disease.