Racing Authorities To Discuss Virus Risk

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Racing authorities will discuss risk assessment ahead of a predicted increase in coronavirus cases leading into the Sydney autumn carnival.

Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys said they and the Australian Turf Club would follow state and federal government leads over the virus and gathering of crowds at sporting events.

Japan and Hong Kong are conducting meetings without spectators and with only essential personnel involved while Korea has shut its racing down for at least two weeks.

“Racing NSW is undertaking a risk analysis and will seek medical advice to develop an appropriate strategy,” V’Landys said.

Three horses from England are due in Sydney on Saturday to compete over the carnival while two Japanese horse are about to enter pre-export quarantine.

Figures on Friday show there are almost 83,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus across the globe with more than 2700 people dead in China and around 70 in other countries, including 26 in Iran.

The covid-19 virus has spread to 49 countries, seven more since Thursday.

Australian federal, state and territory health ministers and key advisers met in Melbourne on Friday, a day after prime minister Scott Morrison announced Australia anticipated a global pandemic declaration by instigating its emergency response plan.

But health authorities say there is no need for panic.

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