Niantic announced that the Nidorino and Gengar Raid Day in Pokemon GO has been cancelled in Japan, South Korea and Italy.
While Niantic didn’t give a reason for the cancellation, telling people to stay tuned to their channels for updates, it’s likely that the cancellation was made out of concern for the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus.
83,000 cases of coronavirus have been recorded worldwide across all continents except Antartica, according to CNN Business. South Korea has the largest outbreak of the virus outside of mainland China where the virus originated, with 2,337 known cases in the country as of Friday according to the publication.
The Italian civil protection chief said that there are now 820 cases of the virus in Italy and 21 deaths, according to The Guardian. More than 50,000 people across 11 villages and towns 40 miles southeast of Milan are under quarantine, according to The Washington Post. World Health Organization officials said that Italy was one of the notable drivers of the spread of the virus with 24 cases moving from Italy to 14 other countries including Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Nigeria.
The Japanese health ministry confirmed that a British man who was a passenger on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died Friday, marking the sixth death of a former passenger of the cruise ship and the 11th death total from the virus in Japan according to The Washington Post. There were over 700 cases of the virus from the ship with another 200 reported within Japan, according to the publication. Japan declared a state of emergency in Hokkaido island, the location of the 2020 Olympic marathons this summer. Organizers said that they will release plans next week to scale back the torch relay. The publication also reported that United cancelled flights to Japan.
The Raid Day lets players fight and catch special Nidorino and Gengar wearing party hats on March 1 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. local time, according to a blog post from Niantic. Gengar caught from Raids during the time period will know the moves Lick and Psychic, two moves it normally cannot learn.
The Coronavirus outbreak has led to cancellations of major events in gaming all over the world. Matches for popular eSports games like Overwatch, League of Legends and Pokemon have been cancelled in China and the Asia-Pacific region according to gamesindustry.biz. Microsoft, Sony, EA, Facebook, Blizzard Entertainment, Epic Games, Amazon, Unity, and Hideo Kojima have all cancelled appearances at this year’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco citing concerns over coronavirus, according to The Washington Post.
Update: This article has been updated with the latest number of recorded cases of coronavirus and the deaths resulting from it.
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