Cirque du Soleil cancels shows in China over Wuhan virus

Cirque du Soleil cancels shows in China over Wuhan virus

Cirque du Soleil
The Land Of Fantasy, which opened last year, is Cirque du Soleil's first resident show in China. (Photo: Cirque du Soleil)

MONTREAL: Canadian acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil announced Thursday (Jan 23) that its shows in Hangzhou, China have been cancelled due to concerns over a coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The call was made in response to Chinese officials' requests to close all indoor activities with 100 or more people in attendance in order to contain the outbreak, the company said in a statement.

"Right now, we all have the responsibility to step up, and to do preventive activities. We are going to keep leading in this effort by putting people's health and safety as our top priority," Cirque du Soleil head Daniel Lamarre said in the statement.

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The Land Of Fantasy, which opened last year, is Cirque du Soleil's first resident show in China.

Hangzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, is about 700km from the city of Wuhan, where the SARS-like virus emerged at a seafood and animal market in December.

wuhan virus lockdown graphic afp

China has confirmed 830 cases of the infection with 25 deaths and has implemented an effective quarantine of some 20 million people in multiple cities ahead of the Chinese New Year holiday.

READ: Commentary: The Wuhan virus clock is running down on scientists

Cases have been confirmed in Singapore, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and the United States.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called the outbreak "an emergency in China" but stopped short of declaring the epidemic of international concern.

MORE: Our coverage on the Wuhan virus and its developments​​​​​​​

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Source: AFP/aj

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