BH CORRESPONDENT, Tokyo: Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organisers on Thursday dispelled fears that 2020 Games could be postponed or cancelled due to fast-spreading coronavirus from China.
Tokyo Olympics 2020 will go ahead as scheduled in Japan will from 24 July to 9 August.
Tokyo Olympic CEO Toshiro Muto on Wednesday had admitted that he was seriously worried the virus could disrupt the Olympic and Paralympics, but he backtracked on his statement a day later. Muto San appeared more cautious in a news conference with officials from the International Paralympic Committee.
Muto said: “In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to say that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held as scheduled,” adding people need to remain “cool headed.”
Craig Spence, spokesman for the IPC said: “One thing I am noticing at the moment is fear is spreading quicker than the virus, and it is important that we quell that fear.”
Meanwhile, Japan has confirmed 45 cases of the virus but no deaths have been reported so far. Tokyo Olympic officials claim that they have established a task force to monitor the virus.
“We need to put things into perspective, and until the World Health Organization tells us otherwise, we will proceed with business as usual,” Spence said.
Some Olympic and Paralympic qualifying events around the globe have been cancelled or postponed due to the virus issue. Travel restrictions on China’s large Olympic and Paralympic delegations has also complicated matters. Around 11,000 Olympic athletes will be housed in the Athletes Village.