UPDATE: Twenty-three of the 97 contestants in Puerto Rico for the Miss World competition have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. This includes Miss Trinidad and Tobago. The competition was canceled on Thursday due to many persons testing positive for the virus.
(CMR) Puerto Rican health authorities have confirmed that 17 people, including candidates, at the ongoing Miss World 2021 pageant have tested positive for COVID-19. Miss Cayman Rashana Hydes and Cayman's Pageant director Pamela Small are currently there.
While it wasn't immediately clear how many of the participants were among those infected, Miss World said there were about seven “isolated” candidates with possible coronavirus infections.
The finals for the global beauty contest are to be held on Thursday at the Coliseo de Puerto Rico, where reigning Miss World Toni-Ann Singh from Jamaica is scheduled to crown her successor. The annual competition, hosting its 70th event this year, was canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, making Singh the longest-reigning Miss World in history.
“In the case of Miss World, there are 17 positives … yesterday there was talk of seven, but that number went up,” Puerto Rico's health department spokesperson Lisdian Acevedo told Primera Hora.
Acevedo said the number of cases includes candidates and technical personnel and that all those infected were vaccinated.
While none of those who tested positive required hospitalization, Acevedo said they have to follow a mandatory 10-day isolation period.
Miss World chairwoman Julia Morley told Primera Hora that candidates who tested positive would not be allowed on stage at the finals “if they don't produce a negative molecular PCR test.” However, they will still be in the running for the crown.
“Knowing the seriousness of this global situation that we all face, we took steps to capture the unique talent of each contestant so that, in case they couldn't join us, they could still win the crown as Miss World 2021. The panel of judges will review your pre-recorded video content to make their final decision,” Morley said.
“The Miss World Organization is following national guidelines. We are an experienced and responsible global organization that is very excited to celebrate our 70th anniversary in Puerto Rico, and we remain dedicated to the health and safety of our participants and the people of Puerto Rico.”