Sun, 05 Apr 2020

London - Premier League club Newcastle United have introduced a handshake ban to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, manager Steve Bruce said on Friday.

"There's a ritual here that everybody shakes hands with everybody as soon as we see each other every morning - we've stopped that on the advice of the doctor," Bruce said.

"We are like everybody else. Thankfully, we've got a superb doctor here and he will keep us informed of what we have to do.

"We're like everybody else, we're glued to the TV for where it's going to go next and let's hope it doesn't get any worse in this country."

Sports events across the world are increasingly being affected by the spread of the virus.

The clash between Juventus and title rivals Inter Milan is among five Serie A games that will be played behind closed doors this weekend because of the coronavirus outbreak in Italy.

The Swiss government on Friday said it was suspending all events in the country involving more than 1 000 participants.

In cycling, the UAE Tour was abandoned on Thursday after two Italian staff members of one of the teams taking part tested positive for the coronavirus.

The virus has proliferated around the globe over the past week, emerging in every continent except Antarctica, prompting many governments and businesses to try to stop people travelling or gathering in crowded places.

It has killed more than 2 800 people and infected over 83 000 worldwide - the vast majority in China - since it emerged apparently from an animal market in a central Chinese city in late December.

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