Miss World 2021 has been temporarily postponed "due to health and safety interest of contestants, staff, crew and general public" after participants, including Miss India Manasa Varanasi, tested positive for Covid-19, the pageant announced in a social media post.
The finale was slated to take place in Puerto Rico 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 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," the post on the pageant's official Facebook said late Thursday night.
"As of yesterday (Wednesday), 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," it added.
The pageant added that the next step according to the medical experts is "immediate quarantine, pending observation and further testing".
"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" Julia Morley, CEO of Miss World Ltd, was quoted as saying in the post.
Meanwhile, Varanasi, a Telangana native, has tested positive for Covid-19, the the Miss India organisation said.
In an Instagram post, the organisation said: "Keeping in mind the rising Covid cases amongst the contestants, the Miss World Organisation has taken the decision to postpone the Miss World Finale. Our queen, Manasa Varanasi is one of the contestants who has been tested Covid positive and is currently in isolation at Puerto Rico. We, at the Miss India Organisation, were in great disbelief that she might not be able to grace the world stage inspite of her immense hard word and dedication. However, her safety is of utmost priority to us.
"We can't wait to welcome Manasa back home, nurture her back to health and send her back stronger, healthier and happier.
"To those affected, we wish you all a speedy recovery and can't wait to see you all at the Miss World Finale."
(With inputs from IANS)