A public health emergency for a case of the disease in the area has led to the suspension of the tournament that started this week
The fifth most important tournament of the season, the first after the Big Four, Indian Wells, has been suspended after confirming a case of coronavirus in the Coachella Valley in California. The organizers of the tournament, the first 1,000 Masters of the season at the ATP and Premier Mandatory at the WTA, have decreed the suspension due to the high risk of contagion of the virus in the area. The Riverside County Department of Public Health has declared a public health emergency for desert cities 110 miles (177 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, including Indian Wells, where the tournament was to be played for two weeks. “There is too great a risk, at this time, for the public health of the Riverside County area to hold a large meeting of this size,” said Dr. David Agus, professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California , it’s a statement. The specialist stressed that “it is not in the public interest for fans, players and neighboring areas that this tournament continues. We all have to come together to protect the community from the coronavirus outbreak, ”he stressed.
The tournament hoped to attract more than half a million fans in this edition with the presence of almost all male and female tennis stars. In the men’s team were going to be the best except Federer and in the women’s team were going to compete Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka, Barty, Muguruza … Tournament director Tommy Haas informed that the organizers are prepared to play the event on different dates and They will explore the options.
The decision to suspend the event was based on the guidance of medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control and officials from the state of California, said tournament officials.
Earlier in the week, tournament organizers announced several measures to protect players, fans and staff at the event. Thus, there would be 250 disinfection posts and players would have to carry their own towels, and a chair at the back of the tracks so they could place them. Avoid shaking hands with players and touching pets. The ball catchers would wear gloves and could not touch the players ‘towels during the matches, nor handle the tennis players’ drinks. In addition, players were going to be instructed not to give fans of towels, headbands, t-shirts or sweatshirts that they had worn during matches and training, and they should not accept pens, tennis balls or other objects To sign autographs.