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Tokyo Olympic organisers emphasise Games will go ahead despite coronavirus

Tokyo Olympic organisers emphasise Games will go ahead despite coronavirus
February 10, 2020

Despite media reports of concerns that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be cancelled due to the Coronavirus, Tokyo Olympic Games organisers have stressed the games will go ahead as planned.

The ABC had reported last Thursday that Tokyo Olympics organisers were having “serious concerns” over the novel coronavirus with Tokyo Organising Committee Chief Executive Toshiro Muto saying that the spread of a new coronavirus could throw "cold water over the growing momentum of the 2020 Games.

Muto, at a meeting in Tokyo with the organisers of the Paralympic Games, reportedly added "I am seriously concerned … I hope this will be resolved as soon as possible."

The Strait Times are now reporting that Tokyo 2020 Olympics organisers have advised that the Games would "go ahead as planned", slamming “misinformation” over the new coronavirus for triggering panic.

Muto revealed that organisers have set up a task force to combat the virus and promised that the Games would be not derailed stating "the Olympics will go ahead as planned.

"It is important to remain objective and cool-headed. We don't want to alarm the public. The infection is still limited and there is no problem staging the Olympics based on the current situation."

International Paralympic Committee (IPC) spokesman Craig Spence advised "Fear is spreading quicker than the virus. It's important we quell that fear. Only 191 of the total cases are outside mainland China, so let's put things into perspective.

"If you compare those rates with the common flu, they are still relatively small numbers.

"We will follow the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO). Every organising committee looks into countermeasures, and we have measures in place from previous Olympics and Paralympics here in Tokyo. It is standard practice, it's business as usual."

The WHO has declared the coronavirus outbreak a global health emergency with more than 20 countries having conformed cases.

Japanese Government officials including Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have said the Government would work hard to minimise any impact from the virus outbreak on the Olympic Games, which start on 24th July and the Paralympics starting on 25th August.

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike has also promised to implement "thorough measures" to protect people from the virus.

The health scare has led to the cancellation of Olympic qualifying events in China such as boxing and badminton.

As of today (Monday 10th February) the death toll from the virus that originated in China's central city of Wuhan has risen to 908 with total infections in China at just over 40,000 as the WHO dispatch a team of experts to Beijing.

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