Mayor says coronavirus should not affect Boston Marathon

The coronavirus outbreak should not impact the Boston Marathon, the Mayor of the American city has said.

Marty Walsh claimed that scaling back the event on April 20 would be an "overreaction".

His words came after the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) said they were monitoring the situation with regards to the virus.

The Tokyo Marathon, another of the World Marathon Majors, has already cancelled its mass participation race due to the outbreak.

Only the elite men's, women's and wheelchair marathons will now take place in Japan on March 1.

There is one confirmed case of coronavirus in Boston, with this person being treated.

"I think that's [scaling back] an overreaction," Walsh said.

"I think we have to be very careful in overreacting to a situation that isn't there.

"In Boston, it shouldn't affect our marathon."

The BAA has organised the Boston Marathon since 1897, making it the world's oldest annual marathon.

"The Boston Athletic Association is carefully monitoring developments related to the coronavirus," the BAA said to the Boston Herald.

"We will continue to closely follow updates from organisations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Public Health and the World Health Organization, and will adhere to any policies put forth by the Federal Government.

"We have no further comment at the moment but will continue to monitor the situation carefully."

There are now more than 75,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus since it originated in Chinese city Wuhan.

More than 2,100 people have died with the vast majority of patients in China.

Thirty countries and territories are now affected, with 15 cases confirmed in the United States.

Numerous sporting events have been either cancelled or postponed due to the crisis.

Earlier this week, Walsh ate lunch in Boston's Chinatown amid fears that the virus would hurt businesses in the area.

posted Saturday February 22nd