Baguio cancels Panagbenga 2020

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Baguio City officials have decided to cancel the Panagbenga flower festival this year and other local events due to coronavirus fears, Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced Monday.

Baguio City (CNN Philippines, March 9) — The popular Panagbenga flower festival in Baguio City has been cancelled this year amid coronavirus fears, Mayor Benjamin Magalong announced Monday.

Magalong said this was the decision of the Baguio City Interagency Task Force on COVID-19, following recommendations made by the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. All operations of the night market will also be suspended effective Tuesday, March 10, for the next 14 days, the mayor added.

All events part of the annual celebration would be cancelled including Grand Street Parade which was rescheduled on March 28, Grand Float Parade on March 29, and Session Road in Bloom set from March 30 to April 5.

The opening parade was initially scheduled on February 1, but local officials postponed the event as a precautionary measure.

Department of Health Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan said that the country has been placed under "code red" after authorities confirmed local transmissions in Metro Manila. The Philippines reported four new COVID-19 cases on Sunday evening, two of which had no travel history outside the country.

The region remains free of novel coronavirus as of Monday.

The Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association Meet, a regular sporting event originally scheduled from February 1 to 23, has also been suspended, Magalong said. Meanwhile, the closure of Session Road for art events and cultural gatherings will also be stopped for now.