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Cirque du Soleil has cancelled its shows in eastern China following advice from health authorities. Photo: DPA

Canada’s Cirque du Soleil cancels shows in eastern China over coronavirus concerns

  • Performances in Zhejiang province abandoned in response to official requests that events of more than 100 people be closed to help contain virus
  • Hangzhou, venue for the shows, is about 430 miles from Wuhan

Canadian acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil announced on Thursday that its shows in eastern China have been cancelled because of concerns over the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

The decision to abandon performances in Hangzhou, the capital of Zhejiang province, was made after officials asked that all indoor activities involving 100 or more people be closed to contain the outbreak, the company said.

“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 president and chief executive Daniel Lamarre said.

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

Cirque du Soleil says health and safety must come first. Photo: EPA-EFE

Hangzhou is about 700km (430 miles) from the city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus emerged at a seafood and animal market in December.

China implemented an effective quarantine of about 20 million people in several cities before the Lunar New Year holiday. Authorities have reported 26 deaths from the virus and hundreds of cases.

Several other countries, including Thailand and the United States, have reported confirmed cases, although the World Health Organisation on Thursday stopped short of declaring a so-called a public health emergency of international concern.

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