The Kingston City Marathon, scheduled for  Sunday, has been cancelled because of the increasing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19.

The cancellation came a day after Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Christopher Tufton, announced Jamaica’s first case of the Covid-19, an imported one.

Tufton made the announcement during a press conference at his ministry’s New Kingston offices where he said that "public gatherings are being discouraged at this time, as well as non-essential travel."

Jamaica has since recorded another imported case, with a second press conference from the minister.

Nicola Madden Greig, Co-chair of Kingston City Marathon, which benefits several local charities said that “all was in place for the eighth staging of the annual event this Sunday. However, we are mindful of our responsibility to comply with the mandates of the Ministry of Health as we all work to prevent the potential for community spread of the Coronavirus.

“We have taken the difficult decision after serious deliberations. While we know everyone was excited to participate in this year’s event, the health and safety of all our participants are paramount."

The Kingston City Marathon, which includes a marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K race/walk, annually attracts over 5,000 participants and spectators from several Caribbean islands and other countries including Ireland, the UK, Denmark, Japan, Spain, Canada, China and the USA.

Apart from walking or running, the scenic Kingston route takes participants through public attractions such as Devon House and the residence of the Governor General  at Kings House.

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