BNP Paribas Open, scheduled to begin on March 9, has been postponed to combat the spread of Coronavirus. In a statement on Sunday evening, organisers of the tennis tournament stated that the tournament will not be taking place at the scheduled time keeping in view the "safety of the participants and attendees at the event."
The statement read that a public health emergency has been declared in the region after a confirmed case of Coronavirus and that "safety of the participants and attendees at the event".
The statement further read: "It is not in the public interest of fans, players and neighboring areas for this tournament to proceed. We all have to join together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak.”
Tournament Director Tommy Hass said, "We are very disappointed that the tournament will not take place, but the health and safety of the local community, fans, players, volunteers, sponsors, employees, vendors, and everyone involved with the event is of paramount importance. We are prepared to hold the tournament on another date and will explore options.”
The announcement comes a day after ATP and WTA announced measures aimed at combatting the spread of deadly Coronavirus. Multiple sporting events have been affected due to the virus, with some events have closed doors for the public, others have been postponed or even cancelled.
In the United States, more than 500 cases of the virus have been confirmed and reported. Cases have been identified in 34 states. Globally, more than 3,800 people have died, with the epicentre being in China. The virus has infected more than 1,10,000 people globally and has now spread to North America South America, Europe, New Zealand, and as many as 80 other countries.