The finale celebration of the Miss World Competition was put on pause after a COVID-19 outbreak infected several people associated with the event – including 23 of the pageant contestants.

The announcement came just hours before the live broadcast was set to being in Puerto Rico.

Epidemiologist Melissa Marzán told reporters there had so far been 38 positive cases, including 15 staff and 23 participants.

The pageant released the following statement via social media on Thursday: 

After meeting with the virologists and medical experts hired to oversee the Miss World 2021 event and discussing with the Puerto Rico Health Department, the decision has been made by the organizers of the event to postpone the globally broadcast finale at the Puerto Rico Coliseum Jose Miguel Agrelot to be held within the next 90 days. 

As of yesterday, additional safety measures were implemented in the best interest of the contestants, production team and spectators, understanding the event increased risks on the stage and in the dressing room. However, after additional positive cases were confirmed this morning after consulting with health officials and experts, the postponement decision was made. 

The next step according to the medical experts is immediate quarantine, pending observation and further testing according to best practices in situations like this.

Once and only when contestants and staff are cleared by health officials and advisors, will contestants and related staff return to their home countries.

“We are very much looking forward to the return of our contestants, (who we have grown to know and love), to compete for the Miss World crown,” said Julia Morley, CEO of Miss World Ltd. Puerto Rico offers a safe environment and a spectacular backdrop for filming the Miss World Festival!”

Sending up prayers to everyone affected and wishing them a speedy recovery.

Source: NY Daily News