BHA sends out this message over coronavirus and Cheltenham 2020

"Racing continues as usual" is the message from the British Horseracing Authority amid the coronavirus outbreak, with just two weeks to go until the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

As the UK's 20th case of the killer disease was confirmed earlier, scheduling of sporting events such as The Festival have come increasingly under the microscope.

Governments around the world fearful of the virus spreading are making plans to limit crowds amassing, after it claimed the life of more than 2,800 people and the risk was deemed 'very high' by the World Health Organisation.

Cheltenham officials said this week The Festival on March 10-13 would proceed as normal and now the BHA have confirmed they are not looking at cancelling fixtures currently.

“At present racing continues as usual and the sport remains in agreement that there is no need to develop a policy regarding abandonment of any specific fixtures due to coronavirus at this time," their statement said.

"We will continue to speak to government and should a situation arise where this is required then the sport has established mechanisms in place for handling such scenarios."

Japan is one of the countries hit hardest by coronavirus, with in excess of 200 cases- and race meetings there are being held behind closed doors.

Bookmakers Paddy Power have priced up the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo at 4-6 to be cancelled.

The BHA statement added: “The industry group continues to liaise closely with government and plan for a range of contingencies.

"We would encourage everyone in racing to focus on the government’s advice on personal health and their advice to employers and businesses.

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