The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are scheduled to be held between July 24 and August 9 and the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will run between August 25 and September 6, but strong concerns have emerged recently that novel coronavirus outbreak in China may affect the athletic events.
According to the statement issued by Japanese Olympics Organizing Committee, it has never considered an option of cancelling or relocating the Games this summer.
“We have never discussed cancelling the Games,” the statement reads. “Tokyo 2020 will continue to collaborate with the IOC and relevant organizations and will review any countermeasures that may be necessary.”
The press service of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that countermeasures against the spread of the novel coronavirus make up an extremely important part of the preparations for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
“Countermeasures against infectious diseases constitute an important part of our plans to host safe and secure Games,” the statement said. “To address the novel coronavirus issue, the Government of Japan has established the Novel Coronavirus Response Headquarters, led by the Prime Minister [Shinzo Abe], and intends to pay full attention to the virus’s impacts and thoroughly respond to them.”
“The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has also established an internal task force. Meanwhile, as of February 4th Tokyo 2020 has established a Novel Coronavirus Countermeasures Task Force under the leadership of [Organizing Committee] CEO Toshiro Muto.”
“Tokyo 2020 will continue to collaborate with all relevant organizations which carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases and we will review any countermeasures that may be necessary with all relevant organizations,” the statement added.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities reported to the World Health Organization about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, an economic and industrial megalopolis with a population of 11 million.
The virus was identified on January 7 as 2019-nCoV. Apart from China, 29 other countries and territories, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated on February 11 that the organization gave the novel coronavirus an official name of COVID-19.
According to the latest reports, over 75,770 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in China and other countries. The virus’ death toll has hit the number of 2,130, yet more than 16,880 patients have recovered from the disease.