(AFP) — New York City has postponed its annual St. Patrick’s Day parade due to the global coronavirus pandemic, officials said late Wednesday, days after other events in U.S. cities were canceled.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said the decision was taken after a meeting with parade organizers.
“One of the most effective ways to contain the spread of the virus is to limit large gatherings and close contacts, and I applaud the parade’s leadership for working cooperatively with us,” Cuomo said in a statement.
New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade is the largest in the United States and typically attracts 2 million spectators.
The event has been held annually for more than 250 years and Wednesday’s announcement was the first time it would not be held as scheduled, the New York Times reported.
Officials said the parade would be held later.
“I know this decision didn’t come easy, so I’ll make this promise: This is a postponement, not a cancellation,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Boston’s mayor on Monday announced the cancellation of his city’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, which was expected to attract around 1 million.
Meanwhile in Quanzhou, eastern China, the death toll from the collapse of a coronavirus quarantine facility rose to 29 on Thursday as the final victim was recovered from the rubble.
Dozens of people were pulled alive from the wreckage of the six-story Xinjian hotel in the coastal city of Quanzhou, which collapsed Saturday night.
More than 40 people were injured, with 27 found dead in the rubble and two dying later from their injuries, according to state media.
China’s emergency management ministry said the body of the final victim was recovered Thursday morning.
The State Council will investigate the collapse, the ministry said.
The building had been repurposed to house people who recently had contact with patients confirmed with COVID-19, the state-run People’s Daily newspaper reported.
The hotel collapsed Saturday night, with footage published by local media appearing to show the building’s facade crumbling to the ground in seconds, exposing the structure’s steel frame.
A preliminary investigation found serious problems with its construction, the People’s Daily reported Wednesday, citing the deputy mayor of Quanzhou, Hong Ziqiang.
© Agence France-Presse