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Coronavirus gores Pamplona bull-run

AFP  |  Madrid 

Spain's best-known bull running festival in the northern town of Pamplona has been cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic, Pamplona city hall said Tuesday.

Hundreds of thousands of people typically attend the centuries-old San Fermin celebration, which sees half-tonne fighting bulls chase hundreds of daredevils, many wearing traditional white shirts and scarves, though the narrow streets of the city each morning.

Pamplona's municipal council decided to call off the event, held each year between July 6 and 14, because "the fight against COVID-19 has become a global priority and there is no other possible option for such massive festivities," a statement said.

People flock to the city from all over the world to test their bravery and enjoy the festival's mix of round-the-clock parties, religious processions and concerts.

Sixteen people have been killed in the bull runs since officials began keeping track in 1910.

The last death was in 2009 when a 27-year-old Spaniard was gored in the neck, heart and lungs.

The San Fermin festival dates back to medieval times and was immortalised in Ernest Hemingway's 1926 novel "The Sun Also Rises".

COVID-19 has killed almost 21,300 people so far in Spain, the third-highest official toll after the United States and Italy.

The pandemic has also forced the suspension or postponement of major events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Coachella music festival in southern California, and the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Tue, April 21 2020. 19:00 IST