Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization

Coronavirus declared global health emergency by World Health Organization
January 31, 2020

The Wuhan Coronavirus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization, as the outbreak continues to spread outside China.

Announcing the move yesterday, WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated "the main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries.”

Amid a concerns that the virus could spread to countries with weaker health systems, many airlines have suspended flights to China while some nations, including the USA, have told their citizens not to travel to China.

At least 213 people in the China have died from the virus, mostly in the Hubei province, with official Chinese figures citing almost 10,000 cases across the country.

The outbreak continues to impact sport events with World Athletics advising of the postponement of its World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020.

The event, due to have been held in the city of Nanjing from 13th to 15th March this year has been postponed to March 2021.

In a statement, World Athletics advised “it is necessary to provide our athletes, Member Federations and partners with a clear way forward in what is a complex and fast-moving set of circumstances.

“The advice from our medical team, who are in contact with the World Health Organization, is that the spread of the Coronavirus both within China and outside the country is still at a concerning level and no one should be going ahead with any major gathering that can be postponed.

“The indoor season for athletics falls within a narrow calendar window - up to the end of March - and we believe we will be able to find a suitable date in 2021 to host this event. We would like Nanjing to be the host given the extensive planning and preparation they have put into this event.

“We have chosen not to cancel the Championships as many of our athletes would like this event to take place so we will now work with our athletes, our partners and the Nanjing organising committee to secure a date in 2021 to stage this event.”

Another event impacted is the inaugural Chinese winter X Games event, which was scheduled to debut in Chongli, Hebei province, from 21st to 23rd February.

However, ESPN, the creator of the X Games, has now announced the event will be rescheduled.

In a statement reported by the Forbes website, ESPN advised “due to the ongoing coronavirus concerns, the X Games Chongli 2020 event will be postponed until a later date.

“The safety of our athletes, staff and spectators is our top priority, and we will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

In January 2019, a multi-year hosting agreement was signed between ESPN and REnextop Entertainment to stage events in China. The first X Games China event featured summer sport disciplines and was held in June in Shanghai.

In November, it was announced that X Games Chongli would be held at the Genting Resort Secret Garden ski resort, which is also earmarked as a venue for the 2022 Beijing winter Olympics. The disciplines featured were set to be men’s and women’s, and ski and snowboard, versions of big air, slopestyle and superpipe (known as halfpipe at the Olympics).

Concerns over the virus have led to a raft of both domestic and international sporting events being cancelled or postponed.

Images: The World Athletics Indoor Championships Nanjing 2020 where to have been held at Nanjing’s Cube but have now been postponed to 2021 (top, courtesy of LOC) and the Coronavirus (below).

Related Articles

29th January 2020 - Swim schools concerned about Coronavirus

28th January 2020 - Leading consultants suggest Coronavirus impact could deal significant blow to Australian economy

27th January 2020 - Coronavirus impacts Asian sporting events

26th January 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees closure of Hong Kong and Shanghai Disney resorts

24th January 2020 - Coronavirus sees cancellation of major events and closure of attractions in China

24th July 2019 - World Health Organization promotes physical activity action plan at National Sports Convention

25th June 2019 - IOC satisfied with preparations for Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics

22nd May 2019 - Beijing confirmed as host for SportAccord 2020

9th May 2019 - Chengdu named host for 2025 World Games

8th May 2019 - International sporting federations need to offer more to host venues and cities

15th February 2019 - News report suggests few Chinese sports venues are profitable

15th January 2019 - X Games to expand in China with new event deal

19th September 2018 - NHL looks to grow in China ahead of 2022 Winter Olympics

4th January 2017 - Top Chinese administrator predicts remarkable year for Chinese sport

23rd September 2016 - IOC President proclaims ‘time of Asia’ as Sports Ministers sign declaration in Pyeongchang

11th May 2016 - Chinese sports industry to be worth more than US$460 billion by end of 2020

5th September 2012 - Nanjing to take prudent approach to 2014 Youth Olympics

12th February 2010 - Nanjing awarded 2014 Youth Olympics

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all



The Fitness Generation is now part of NovoFit - see

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Founded in 1961, Myrtha Pools® quickly became Italy’s première swimming pool company, and has since grown into one of the world's leading swimming pool construction…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks / Wellness


BH Fitness

BH Fitness, part of the long-standing and iconic bike manufacturer BH Group, is a global leader in fitness equipment for both Commercial and Home markets. The company, with the headquarters based in…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


METRA Australia

With industry leading solutions in design and durability you can improve your facilities with our access control operations, payment systems and flexible personal locker storage solutions. Your…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Fitness / Recreation / Security



As of 2018, TicketServ operates as SeatGeek Asia Pacific Pty Limited, part of international ticketing platform SeatGeek. Click here to contact SeatGeek Asia Pacific via their entry in…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Events / Sport / Ticketing



Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business