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  1. ITV Report

Newcastle introduces training ground handshake ban amid coronavirus fears

Newcastle United have introduced a training ground handshake ban in an attempt to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.

Head coach Steve Bruce said the "morning ritual" had been stopped on the advice of the club's doctor.

  • Speak at Friday's pre-match press conference, Bruce said:

There's a ritual here that everybody shakes hands with everybody as soon as we see each other every morning - we've stopped that on the advice of the doctor.

We're like everybody else. Thankfully, we've got a superb doctor here and he will keep us informed of what we have to do.

We're like everybody else, we're glued to the TV for where it's going to go next and let's hope it doesn't get any worse in this country.

– Steve Bruce, Head Coach
  • Asked if he had experience anything similar like it in the past, Bruce said:

No, not at all. Look, in confined areas like we've got here... There was a time over Christmas when if there's a virus knocking around - which is not coronavirus -then you have to be careful so we're a bit mindful of it, the fact that a bug can sweep through.''

– Steve Bruce, Head Coach

At a press conference ahead on Friday morning, Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson said the club was closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak.

  • Parkinson said that ahead of the international break, the club doctor had advised players where they should and should not travel.

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK now stands at 19, after the first case was confirmed in Wales and two more patients in England were diagnosed.

On Friday morning, chief medical officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton confirmed a person had been diagnosed with the virus after travelling back to Wales from Italy.

The Foreign Office said it is investigating Japanese news reports that a British man who was aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died from coronavirus.

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