A February 7 Shan State Day commemoration has been canceled in Namkham town due to fears of the spreading coronavirus.
The organizing committee for the occasion held an emergency meeting with town elders on Saturday morning and decided to call off the public event.
There have been more than 17,000 documented cases of the virus, almost entirely in China, although it has also been found in more than 20 countries. More than 360 people in China have died. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global epidemic.
Sai Mauk Hseng, the spokesperson for the organizing committee of the 73rd Shan State Day, said that the cancellation was a “preventative action.”
“Namkham town is located on the China border. Our aim is to prevent infection of the virus in our area,” he said, adding that under these circumstances, “We don’t want to create a gathering of people.”
The event organizing committee for Shan State Day in Muse, also on the Shan-China border, also announced the cancellation of the event.
The day coincides with the anniversary of the Panglong Conference, held in Shan State in 1947.