March 6, 2020 / 10:16 AM / 22 days ago

Eurovision Song Contest reconsidering Dutch event over coronavirus

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The co-organiser the Eurovision Song Contest, to be held this year in the Dutch city of Rotterdam in May, said it was reviewing its options in light of the coronavirus outbreak.

Health authorities said an 86-year-year old man infected with the virus died in Rotterdam on Friday, the Netherlands’ first known fatality from the epidemic that originated in China and has spread to 85 countries.

The Netherlands reported its first coronavirus infection on Feb. 27. As of Thursday, it had 82 confirmed cases.

Dutch broadcaster NPO said Eurovision organisers would follow the advice of health authorities in deciding what form the event, due to be held May 12-16, would take. It declined to discuss what alternatives were being considered.

Eurovision normally attracts a live audience of tens of thousands and close to 200 million television viewers.

Public gatherings have so far not been restricted in the Netherlands in response to the coronavirus.

Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Bart Meijer Editing by Mark Heinrich

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