Fears over the possible spread of the coronavirus has cancelled New Year celebrations by Chinese nationals in Iran.
According to a senior official, the cancellation is aimed at protecting Iranians against the virus.
“The ‘Glorious Iran’ festival planned to attract Chinese tourists at the time of the Chinese New Year has been called off due to the circumstances created by the outbreak of the coronavirus as the protection of our citizens against this emerging virus is more important than those celebrations” said Ali Malmir, the Director General of the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department of Hamadan province.
“Before the outbreak of the coronavirus, Iran had invited Chinese tourists to celebrate the New Year by visiting Iran,” he added.
“This comes as the spread of the emerging coronavirus in China has raised alarms in the health and medical treatment sector in most world countries, and the Chinese New Year celebrations in Iran were cancelled in order to prevent the spread of the disease.”
He said no Chinese visitors had entered Hamedan province in order to attend the festival.
“Only before the outbreak of the coronavirus [in China,] a tourist group had come to Iran and spent a day in Hamedan,” he noted.
The festival was scheduled to be held in several Iranian cities, but was cancelled as a preventive measure to contain the possible spread of the coronavirus.