The band issued a statement saying the Stones didn’t think it was a good idea to draw a large crowd that might add to the spread of the mysterious respiratory illness. The shows have been cancelled as a result of advisories concerning the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome from health authorities.

“All associated with this event regret any inconvenience to the public and ask for understanding in connection with this difficult decision,” the statement read.

The mystery illness, known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome or SARS, has spread to nearly a dozen countries, killing at least 52 people – including 10 in Hong Kong.

Details of any potential concert rescheduling plans will be announced no later than March 31.