AFI's Life Achievement Award gala, Ciara's concert postponed amid coronavirus scare

Los Angeles, Mar 8 (PTI) The American Film Institute has postponed its Life Achievement Award ceremony and singer Ciara has pushed ahead her concert in the wake of the novel coronovirus epidemic.

According to Variety, the AFI annual ceremony, which was set to honour screen icon Julie Andrews this year, was scheduled to take place on April 25 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

'AFI's decision to postpone the event is simply in response to the rapidly evolving nature of current events and our promise to ensure the well-being of the artists and audience that gather each year to celebrate America's art form. This move will allow our full attention to focus on the many gifts that Julie Andrews has given the world,' said AFI CEO and president, Bob Gazzale.

The event will be rescheduled for a date in early summer.

Ciara, who is pregnant, cancelled the March 19 show at the brand new USO center in Ford Hood, Texas on doctor's orders.

Her medical team has advised her to limit her travelling and meeting in large group gatherings due to the coronavirus, she said.

'I am disappointed I won't be able to return this month to the place where I was born, Ft. Hood, Texas, and put on the amazing show we had planned; however, I look forward to being able to bring it to you at a later date in 2020.

'I want to thank the USO and the entire community at Ft. Hood for extending your hospitality to myself and my team. I urge everyone to be diligent in taking steps to stay healthy and safe,' Ciara said.

The grand opening of the venue will also be rescheduled for this summer.

In recent weeks, several events such as movie premieres, concerts and gatherings involving public crowds have been cancelled to combat the rapidly spreading virus. South by Southwest, the annual film festival that was supposed to take place March 16-22 in Austin, Texas, was called off on Friday.

Worldwide, the total number of people with COVID-19 has passed 100,000 while 3,500 have died across 95 nations and territories. PTI RDS RDS