Miss World 2019
Miss World 2019. Image Credit: Supplied

The Miss World 2021 beauty pageant that was set to be held on December 16 in Puerto Rico was postponed after multiple participants reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.

“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 organisers 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,” read a statement released hours before the event.

According to a CNN report, 23 of the 97 contestants have contracted the novel coronavirus.

Miss World 2019
Miss World 2019 Toni-Ann Singh. Image Credit: Supplied

The release stated: “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.”

One of those affected is Telangana native Manasa Varanasi, who would have represented India at the international contest.

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“We were in great disbelief that she might not be able to grace the world stage inspite of her immense hard work and dedication, however her safety is of utmost importance to us,” the Miss India Organisation posted on their Instagram. “We can’t wait to welcome Manasa back home, nurture her back to health and send her back stronger, healthier and happier.”

The Miss World Malaysia organisation also confirmed that their contestant Lavanya Sivaji had tested positive.

Last year’s Miss World was cancelled due to the pandemic and so the reigning beauty queen is 2019 winner Toni-Ann Singh from Jamaica.