Report: NBA ‘strongly discouraging’ travel to China amid coronavirus epidemic
The NBA sent a memo to all 30 teams last week, clarifying that China’s coronavirus outbreak has now reached such a serious state that it’s now being considered a global health emergency. The league followed that information by reminding them that travel to China is strongly discouraged at this time, according to Marc Stein of The New York Times.
The league has no further plans to play in China this season after their preseason tour was among the most awkward international presentations the NBA has ever had. Yet this announcement comes roughly two weeks before the All-Star break kicks in.
While many will take part in the mid-February festivities in Chicago, others will choose to spend it with their families, while a smaller percentage — especially those with Chinese sneaker endorsements — could travel to China for a short time to promote their shoes or business overseas.
One case of the coronavirus could rapidly expand in the NBA, which could make for quite the hasty epidemic among players.
The death toll from the coronavirus has now exceeded that of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2002 and 2003 in mainland China, according to The New York Times. Many, however, have recovered in recent days, suggesting that the new virus’s fatality rate could be relatively low.
“China’s Health Commission reported on Sunday that there were 475 recoveries and 361 deaths nationwide. During the SARS outbreak, 349 people died in mainland China.”
The NBA is taking this issue very seriously and ensuring to get the message across in a timely manner to avoid the foul effects of this virus within the NBA hardwood.