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Ice Hockey World Championship organizers ready for possible action against coronavirus

The 2020 IIHF World Championship will be hosted by Zurich and Lausanne between May 8 and 24

MOSCOW, February 25./TASS, Rustam Sharafutdinov/. The Organizing Committee of the 2020 IIHF (International Ice Hockey Federation) World Championship in Switzerland is ready "for every eventual actions" that may be taken to deal with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus infection, the press service of the committee said in a statement to TASS on Tuesday.

The first coronavirus case was confirmed on Tuesday in the south of Switzerland, the Blick media portal reported referring to the Federal Office of Public Health. It said the coronavirus case was reported in the canton of Ticino bordering on northern Italy. A lab in Geneva checked the test results.

"Our preparations are still on track. We keep on working as before," the Organizing Committee said. "We’re aware of the situation and observe it carefully," it said. "We’re in close contact and exchange with the authorities and the IIHF. We’re prepared for every eventual actions," it emphasized.

On December 31, 2019, Chinese health officials reported a cluster of cases of acute respiratory illness to the World Health Organization in Wuhan, an economic and industrial metropolis with a population of 11 million. The virus - now named COVID-19 (2019-nCoV), otherwise known as the novel coronavirus - was identified on January 7, 2020.

Apart from China, 33 countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases. According to the latest data, the overall number of people who contracted the novel coronavirus in China is about 77,600, as many as 2,663 people have died and over 27,200 have recovered.

The 2020 IIHF World Championships will be hosted by the Swiss cities of Zurich and Lausanne between May 8 and 24.

The Russian national team has been placed in Group B for the 2020 IIHF World Championships together with hosts Switzerland, the United States, Latvia, Norway, Finland, Italy and Kazakhstan.