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Rory Mcilroy Calls For Widespread Testing Covid-19 As The Pga Tour Is Suspended

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Rory McIlroy has urged every golfer in the world to get tested for coronavirus after the PGA Tour decided to suspend the sport for at least a month due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The Northern Irishman was among the players in action in the first round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and suggested the sport had to “be shutdown” to battle the virus.

“Everyone needs to get tested,” McIlroy, the world No.1, said after he completed his first round.

“I saw there’s commercial labs now that are testing at some capacity, I guess, and for us to keep playing on the PGA Tour, all the tour players and people who are involved need to get tested and make sure no one’s got it.

“We have pledged from the start to be responsible, thoughtful and transparent with our decision process. We did everything possible to create a safe environment for our players in order to continue the event throughout the weekend, and we were endeavoring to give our fans a much-needed respite from the current climate.

“But at this point—and as the situation continues to rapidly change—the right thing to do for our players and our fans is to pause.”

As it stands, the suspension doesn’t affect The Masters, which is scheduled to get underway on April 9 in Augusta, Georgia. However, the possibility of the first major of the season being played behind closed doors or not be held at all can’t be discounted.

“It would be very unusual without hearing the roars echoing through the valley,” Jordan Spieth told reporters after his first round at TPC Sawgrass.

“You can feed off a crowd anywhere and it can also add a bit of pressure as well, in certain situations. This isn’t ideal for anyone but I think if you polled the players we would rather have the Masters go on without spectators than not go on at all. I think you would probably get a unanimous vote on that one. But it’s a shame.”

As of Friday morning, over 1,600 cases have been reported in the U.S., with 40 deaths and 12 people recovered, according to Johns Hopkins University which has been tracking the outbreak using combined data sources.

Over 4,700 people have died since the outbreak of coronavirus began in Wuhan, a city located in China’s central Hubei province, late last year. There are over 128,000 cases globally, with 68,000 recovered.

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland putts on the 10th green during the first round of The PLAYERS Championship on The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on March 12 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Sam Greenwood/Getty

World Health Organization advice for avoiding spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Hygiene advice

  • Clean hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Wash hands after coughing or sneezing; when caring for the sick; before; during and after food preparation; before eating; after using the toilet; when hands are visibly dirty; and after handling animals or waste.
  • Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching your hands, nose and mouth. Do not spit in public.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately and clean your hands.

Medical advice

  • If you feel unwell (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) seek medical care early and call local health authorities in advance.
  • Stay up to date on COVID-19 developments issued by health authorities and follow their guidance.

Mask usage

  • Healthy individuals only need to wear a mask if taking care of a sick person.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective when used in combination with frequent hand cleaning.
  • Do not touch the mask while wearing it. Clean hands if you touch the mask.
  • Learn how to properly put on, remove and dispose of masks. Clean hands after disposing of mask.
  • Do not reuse single-use masks.

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