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Sanders and Biden cancel Cleveland rallies over coronavirus fears

Several primaries are taking place across the country.


Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden (Jeff Roberson/Paul Sancya/AP)

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden (Jeff Roberson/Paul Sancya/AP)

Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden (Jeff Roberson/Paul Sancya/AP)

Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have cancelled their scheduled rallies in Cleveland amid concerns over the spread of coronavirus.

Mike Casca, a spokesman for Vermont senator Mr Sanders, says the campaign is cancelling the event “out of concern for public health and safety”.

Mr Sanders had been set to speak there as results from Democratic primary voting taking place in six states rolled in on Tuesday night.

“We are heeding the public warnings from Ohio state officials, who have communicated concern about holding large, indoor events during the coronavirus outbreak,” Mr Casca said.

“Senator Sanders would like to express his regret to the thousands of Ohioans who had planned to attend the event tonight.”

A Biden spokesman initially suggested the former vice president’s own event in Cleveland would go on as scheduled, but his campaign subsequently released a statement saying it was off.

Ohio Gov Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency after three individuals from Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, tested positive for the virus that causes Covid-19.

For most people, coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough.

For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Mr Sanders is 78 and Mr Biden is 77.

The vast majority of people recover from the virus. According to the World Health Organisation, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to do so.