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New Japan, Stardom address coronavirus fears


Since China announced an outbreak of new coronavirus strain Covid-19 at the end of last year, more than 70,000 cases have been identified and more than 1,800 people have died after being infected (per Johns Hopkins’ tracking). China, and specifically the city of Wuhan, have been the hardest hit, but with patients in at least 25 other countries there’s a lot of concern the outbreak could become a pandemic.

Japan has 74 confirmed cases as of this writing, and with some questions still unanswered about how the disease spreads, there’s understandable concern among those on China’s island neighbor. Enough that two of their highest profile pro wrestling promotions have addressed the situation.

New Japan is proceeding with their planned events, but taking extra precautions to lower the risk of transmission between fans who attend the shows. From their official statement:

The New Coronavirus (COVID-2019) has been a persistent worldwide news topic for some weeks, and understandably has many concerned. New Japan Pro-Wrestling holds the health, safety and comfort of fans, wrestlers and staff at live events as a top priority, and as such, after careful consideration, we have arrived at a policy for live events in the immediate future.

All currently scheduled live events will proceed as planned. In light of this decision, we invite attendees to take the following precautions at events:

–Be mindful of your physical condition before an event. If you have a fever, cough or cold symptoms or feel otherwise unwell, please stay home.

–Additional disinfectant alcohol sprays will be available for attendees to use at every venue. We invite every attendee to disinfect their hands on entering each venue.

–NJPW encourages attendees to wear surgical masks at live events where at all possible. Staff members may also be wearing masks. We also encourage fans to thoroughly wash their hands and gargle.

–Please leave the venue if you become unwell during an event. Be aware that staff may advise attendees to leave if they seem unwell.

–Meet and greets/autograph signings at events will be canceled until further notice. We appreciate your understanding.

–Refunds will be made available for tickets purchased to March events. While events will all proceed as planned, we appreciate fans’ concern, and would like to ask ticket holders not to attend if they feel at all unwell.

With the best interest of public safety at heart, additions, including attendee health checks, may be made to the above at a later date. Keep checking for more details.

We appreciate your continued support of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

Women’s wrestling promotion Stardom, which is owned by the same parent company as NJPW, is taking a different approach, cancelling numerous events and making one at Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall an empty arena affair. It will be streamed on their YouTube channel.

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