FIA Ready to Implement Drastic Measures against Coronavirus Outbreak

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The Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) expressed its preparedness to “take any action” necessary to “protect the global motor sport community and the wider public,” against the coronavirus epidemic, according to a statement from the racing organization.

FIA said that it is closely monitoring the developing situation in regarding the outbreak with relevant authorities under its Member Clubs, and is currently evaluating its race schedules.  FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant, is directing the safety efforts.

Since the outbreak, there have been over 400 recorded deaths in China alone, with more than 20,000 confirmed cases of the infection. The epidemic has compelled a number of countries around the world to ban travelers from China, especially those from Wuhan province.

Formula E, which is also under FIA regulations, has a race scheduled for March 21 in Sanya in the Hainan Province of China, while Formula 1’s Chinese Grand Prix will supposedly take place on April 19 in Shanghai.

FIA has already cancelled the Sanya race.

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The race would have been the sixth round of the circuit's 14-round schedule, followed by a stint in Seoul, Korea in May and then Jakarta, Indonesia in June as part of Formula E’s races that take place in the Asian regions.

Race organizers said the decision was made jointly with the involvement of FIA and the Chinese federation of automobile and motorcycle sports. The motorsport agency said that it continues to work with Chinese authorities and its regional partners in planning alternative dates should the situation improve, and that all its decisions moving forward are done to ensure the safety and health of travelling staff, participants and fans.

FIA is taking a wait-and-see approach with the Chinese Grand Prix, opting not to issue a cancellation call this early in the season.

Below is FIA’s official statement in full.

Following the coronavirus epidemic that broke out in China at the beginning of the year, the FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its Member Clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant. The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races and, if necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motor sport community and the wider public.
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