Chinese New Year show cancelled in support of coronavirus fight
PUBLISHED: 17:22 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 18:41 04 February 2020
Suffolk's Chinese community has cancelled its sell-out show at Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre to welcome the Year of the Rat in support of the fight against coronavirus.
The show was due to take place on Saturday February 8 and had been organised by the Suffolk Chinese Family Welfare Association.
But association chairman Olivia Bolland said the community and performers felt that with China suffering punishing restrictions to contain the flu variant that has so far claimed the lives of more than 400 people it would be inappropriate to continue with the celebrations.
She said: "The feeling is that with family and friends in affected areas in China on lockdown, people here are not in the mood for it.
"Our compatriots are suffering, fighting a new virus, and it didn't feel right that we should be partying and celebrating a New Year.
"It is very disappointing, many of the acts are local and a lot of work has gone into this event, but people feel it is not right to party when they are worried about friends and relatives in China."
A spokesman for the New Wolsey Theatre said the venue fully supported the association's decision to pull the event.
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"All customers are being contacted for a refund over the next few days and the show was cancelled out of respect for the people of China and their relatives living in the UK," he said.
"As large parts of China were unable to celebrate the New Year it felt out of place to continue with celebrations here.
"We are contacting people who have bought tickets and providing refunds. If you have not heard from us already you can expect to do so very soon."
The theatre can be contacted on 01473 295900 or go to the website for more details.
Coronavirus is a type and group that is common across the world, but the strain which has broken out is a new variant first identified in Wuhan city.
Typical symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to severe pneumonia, causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Two people in the UK have so far been diagnosed with the virus. The government is advising anyone who has travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days to stay indoors, avoid contact with other people and call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area.
For more details go to the Gov.UK coronavirus advice page.