Facemasks, sanitiser as Thais vow virus-free MotoGP

<b>TESTING IN OZ:</b> The first day of the third MotoGP pre-season test has concluded with the reigning world champion Marc Marquez taking the top spot. <I>Image: Honda</i>
<b>TESTING IN OZ:</b> The first day of the third MotoGP pre-season test has concluded with the reigning world champion Marc Marquez taking the top spot. <I>Image: Honda</i>
Honda

Spectators and teams at the Thailand MotoGP will face rigorous health screening and be given hand sanitiser and facemasks to keep the event coronavirus-free, organisers said Thursday.

The March 20-22 event in Buriram is going ahead despite fears over the deadly virus which have decimated Thailand's tourist numbers during peak season.

Thermal screening will be used at the racetrack's entrances, hotels will look out for anyone showing symptoms, and a 'Buriram Healthy' app will provide up-to-date health information.

Formula 1's Chinese Grand Prix is among the long list of events postponed over the virus, but the inaugural F1 race in Vietnam, on April 5, is going ahead.

"We are 100 percent ready. I am confident with all of these measures everyone who visits Buriram will be safe," Newin Chidchob, owner of the Chang International Circuit racetrack, told reporters.

"I hope the MotoGP shows Thailand is safe and will quickly recover."


Should the Thailand MotoGP be postponed? Or do you think the organiser's precautions will be enough to keep spectators and teams safe? Let us know via mail.  


Newin, a powerful businessman close to the billionaire Thai owners of Leicester City Football Club, was flanked by Anutin Charnvirakul, Thailand's health minister, who promised a virus-free event.

"There will be no cancellation or postponement," Anutin said, vowing to personally oversee health safety standards.

"It's a global event... that has generated three billion baht ($94-million) each of the last two years," he said.

"This year I hope that Thai fans will attend to compensate for any drop in foreign fans," he said.

Thailand has reported 40 cases of coronavirus. But there are fears other cases may have gone undetected.

Around 2800 people have died from the virus, most of them in China, where a raft of sports tournaments have been cancelled or postponed in recent weeks.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Do you think Lewis Hamilton deserves to be knighted by the Queen?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, he is an incredible athlete
36% - 137 votes
No, he hasn't done anything special
21% - 79 votes
He is good, but doesn't deserve the honour
43% - 161 votes
Vote