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Australian GP pushing ahead as another overseas event stops for coronavirus

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Australian F1 Grand Prix organisers insist the race will go ahead despite MotoGP events being cancelled and postponed overseas.

Thailand’s MotoGP is the latest event to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

That comes one day after the season-opening Qatar motorcycle race was cancelled completely.

But, nine days out from the Australian GP, local CEO Andrew Westacott says it is “all systems go” in Melbourne for the F1 cars.

Ticket sales for this year’s event are up on last year.

In a statement, Mr Westacott said the finishing touches are being put on the circuit with freight and personnel due to arrive in the coming days.

While the GP corporation is taking regular advice from health authorities, “at this stage there is no indication of further travel bans, nor is there any indication that Formula 1 teams will not be arriving as usual”.

Last week, Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Dr Brett Sutton told Neil Mitchell “I think we have to keep all options open”, but said cancelling the GP was “unlikely”.

Meanwhile, the first two cases of human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus in Australia have been identified.

A 53-year-old man , who works in Sydney’s health industry, and a 41-year-old woman whose brother has been in Iran, have both tested positive despite not travelling overseas.

‘All options open’: Health authorities back Australian F1 GP amid coronavirus concerns

(Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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