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Sport WHO says no case for cancelling, moving Tokyo Games - IOC coordinator

17:35  14 february  2020
17:35  14 february  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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TOKYO , Feb 14 (Reuters) - The International Olympic Committee has been advised by the World Health Organization that there is no case for contingency “Advice that we have received externally from WHO is that there is no case for any contingency plans of cancelling the Games or moving the

The organizers of the Olympic Games in Tokyo have been told by medical experts that there is no case for the Summer Olympics to be canceled or moved The World Health Organization ( WHO ) informed the International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) that there is no need to consider moving the

a sign on the side of a building with a metal fence: Giant Olympic Rings are installed at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games© Reuters/ISSEI KATO Giant Olympic Rings are installed at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games

The World Health Organization has told the International Olympic Committee there is no case for cancelling or relocating the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over the coronavirus outbreak, the head of the IOC's Coordination Commission said on Friday.

WHO spokeswoman Fadela Chaib declined to comment, telling reporters to wait for the daily briefing in Geneva on Friday by its top emergencies expert Dr. Mike Ryan, scheduled for 1500 GMT.

Ryan told reporters on Wednesday: "There is no zero risk with any mass gathering". WHO cannot be an "arbiter", he said, adding that most events can be held if proper risk management measures are applied by organisers and local health officials.

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  Tokyo tries to quell fear of Olympic-Paralympic cancellation Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organisers again tried on Thursday to allay fears that the 2020 Games could be postponed or cancelled by the fast-spreading virus from China. Tokyo Olympic CEO Toshiro Muto, who on Wednesday said he was “seriously worried” the virus could disrupt the Olympic and Paralympics, backtracked a day later and was more cautious in a news conference with officials from the International Paralympic Committee.“In order to avoid any misunderstanding, I would like to say that the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be held as scheduled,” Muto said, adding people need to remain “cool-headed.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics remain "on track" despite the novel coronavirus outbreak in Asia, a top official said Friday. The current advice from the World Health Organization ( WHO ) states that "there's no case for any contingency plans of canceling the Games or moving the Games ," according to

International Olympic Committee ( IOC ) member John Coates added that organizers are working "to ensure that all of the athletes, and all of the people who come to Japan for the games are not going to be affected, and that all the necessary precautions are being taken." The Games will take place

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The 17-day event is due to start on July 24. Japan said separately on Friday it would step up testing and containment after reporting its first coronavirus death and confirming new cases, including a doctor and a taxi driver.

John Coates said advice the IOC had received "externally" from the WHO was that "there is no case for any contingency plans of cancelling the Games or moving the Games."

The spreading outbreak, whose epicentre is the Chinese city of Wuhan, has prompted the cancellation of some international sporting events, as well as 2020 Games qualifying competitions for boxing and badminton that were due to take place in China.

Coates said coordination between the Japan organising committee's virus task force and other national authorities reinforced the IOC's confidence that the situation was being properly addressed.

That raised expectations that "we'll be able to ensure that the Games go ahead in a way that's safe for the athletes and spectators," Coates told a news conference hosted together with Tokyo 2020 Olympics President Yoshiro Mori.

Mori echoed Coates' reassurances.

Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee, said in early February he was "seriously worried" that the virus might impact momentum towards the Games, but pledged the following day the event would go ahead as planned.

There have been more than 60,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in mainland China and nearly 450 in 24 other countries and territories, including 33 in Japan and another 218 on a cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese port.

Coates said he was impressed with how China had been able to monitor its athletes "since day one", and that most had been preparing for the Games overseas and would therefore not need to be quarantined on arrival in Japan.

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