Major cherry blossom festivals in Japan have been canceled due to the deadly new coronavirus, the latest in a growing list of events quashed as the epidemic spreads globally.
The traditional spring celebrations in Tokyo and Osaka, which attract millions of people wanting to see the white and pink flowers, will not go ahead as planned in April.
Other cherry blossom events — feverishly anticipated by locals and tourists — are likely to follow suit, according to local media.
Organizers of Tokyo’s Nakameguro Cherry Blossom Festival said people could still enjoy the blooming trees that grow along public roads.
Trees in Tokyo will soon be in full bloom, with friends, families, and colleagues typically flocking to parks for sometimes raucous, alcohol-fuelled celebrations.
The cancellations come as authorities step up efforts to tackle the outbreak in Japan, which has reported more than 230 infections and five deaths.