Christopher Taylor receives the baton from Rosean Young at Penn Relays 2018 on April 27

The Jamaican government is advising schools against attending the annual Penn Relays in Philadelphia.

The event, set for April 23-25, would see several Jamaican high schools teams taking part.

However, the fast-spreading coronavirus (COVID-19) is affecting international sports events around the globe. Several sporting events have been cancelled or postponed.

“Cabinet took a decision last evening (9 March) for the Ministry of Education to advise as it relates to the Penn Relays,” explained Jamaica’s Minister of Health & Wellness Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton.

He added, “schools by now should have been advised that the government is taking a position to not participate in the Penn Relays this year.”

Minister Tufton said this is so “because that travel and the location would involve levels of risk that we would like to discourage.”

Penn Relays organizers are uncertain if the event will be held this year because of the widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.

The release sent on Monday (9 March), said: “Penn Athletics has not cancelled any home events or enacted any spectator restrictions due to the current novel coronavirus concerns at this time. Travellers and visitors to campus are always encouraged to practice good hand hygiene to limit the spread of germs and illnesses.

“As conditions evolve, the University will continue to review, update, and publicize its travel and event policies. Should changes to the schedule be necessary, this story will be updated.

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Anthony Foster is a renowned Jamaican sports journalist, honored twice as the Jamaica sports journalist of the year (in 2004 and 2005). His journalistic achievements are globally recognized. Notably, he authored an award-winning article on Usain Bolt, the iconic 6-time Olympic champion, 11-time World champion, and record holder for the sprint double. This significant piece was published in the Jamaica Gleaner in 2004. Anthony's extensive coverage includes prestigious events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016. He has also provided coverage for seven (7) World Athletics Championships held between 2007 and 2022, alongside various other international sporting events. Noteworthy mentions comprise his coverage of the 2007 World Cup of cricket and his cherished experience reporting on the 2004 clash between his favorite football team, Argentina, and the USA.