Vietnam Grand Prix next in line for cancellation?

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After the FIA officially postponed the Chinese Grand Prix due to the coronavirus epidemic, attention has now turned to the Vietnam Grand Prix which could also be in doubt following a lock-down of several villages near Hanoi.

Hanoi's proximity with China has led to the risk of the novel coronavirus spreading to Vietnam's capital which is set to host an F1 Grand Prix for the very first time on April 5.

But news emerged on Thursday that several villages close to Hanoi have been isolated and locked down, with the commune of Son Loi, located just 40 kilometers from Hanoi, becoming the first mass quarantine in the country after six cases of coronavirus were detected in the rural region.

The development does not bode well for Formula 1 and the Vietnam Grand Prix's organizer whose teams of workers are in the process of completing the venue's circuit and infrastructure.

Furthermore, travel restrictions in China and South-East Asia following the virus outbreak could wreak havoc on Formula 1's logistics for the season opening round in Melbourne, Australia.

Major airports and hubs in the region are ramping up prevention measures which in turn could potentially disrupt travel and handling of freight.

The FIA issued a statement on Wednesday insisting it remained attentive to ongoing developments.

"Following the coronavirus epidemic that broke out at the beginning of the year and, to date, has mainly affected China, the FIA is closely monitoring the evolving situation with relevant authorities and its Member Clubs, under the direction of FIA Medical Commission President, Professor Gérard Saillant.

"The FIA will evaluate the calendar of its forthcoming races and, if necessary, take any action required to help protect the global motor sport community and the wider public."

While countries globally race to contain the spreading of the coronavirus, China reported overnight a sharp increase in cases and deaths in the province Hubei, the centre of the outbreak

The new cases and deaths in the province have pushed the number of cases to almost 60,000 people while the death toll has now surpassed 1,350.

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