Quebec to decide whether to hold skating worlds in Montreal

MONTREAL (AP) — The Quebec government is evaluating whether to hold the World Figure Skating Championships in Montreal next week because of the new coronavirus.

Quebec Health Minister Danielle McCann spoke Monday after the International Ice Hockey Federation on Saturday canceled the Women's World Hockey Championships that had been set for Nova Scotia from March 31-April 10. Hockey Canada said Nova Scotia health officials recommended the event not be held in a letter to the sport's governing body.

McCann said provincial public health and public security officials are iassessing the March 16-22 figure skating event, with input from the Public Health Agency of Canada. She added that canceling the competition has not been ruled out and a decision will be made as quickly as possible.

"We have to do a case-by-case analysis of the events, but we are aware that we need to make a decision rapidly concerning the (figure skating event)" McCann said.

In a statement Monday, Skate Canada said the event is "scheduled to take place as planned.”

"As the situation is changing quickly, we continue to monitor new developments of the evolution of COVID-19 in cooperation with the ISU and will follow the recommendations provided by the World Health Organization and the Public Health Agency of Canada," the statement said.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.