IOC Face 'big Communications Job' As Virus Jitters Hit Tokyo Olympics
Zeeshan Mehtab 12 days ago Fri 14th February 2020 | 04:34 PM
Olympic chiefs admitted Friday they face a "very big communications job" to soothe concerns over the coronavirus epidemic in the run-up to this summer's Tokyo Games
Tokyo, (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 14th Feb, 2020 ) :Olympic chiefs admitted Friday they face a "very big communications job" to soothe concerns over the coronavirus epidemic in the run-up to this summer's Tokyo Games.
The head of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) coordination commission insisted there was no danger of Tokyo 2020 being cancelled or moved, despite fears over the fast-spreading virus which has killed nearly 1,400 and infected around 64,000 -- most of them in China.
"The advice we have received from the World Health Organization (WHO) is that there is no case for a contingency plan to cancel or move the Games," John Coates told reporters after a project review meeting.
"But we hear that most of the Chinese athletes are now out of China. I don't know how many were to be involved in test events here, but I don't see a problem if they're coming from another country." Coates promised lessons would be learned from Rio four years ago, when concerns over the mosquito-born Zika virus led to several top athletes pulling out of the Olympics, including golfers Jason Day and Rory McIlroy.
"The WHO pointed out the likelihood of Zika being a problem at the time of the Games was very low," he said.
"But we did lose some athletes -- Jason Day's wife was pregnant. We didn't communicate the information well enough." Tokyo organisers have slammed "fake news" and scare-mongering over the coronavirus outbreak for causing panic ahead of the Games, which open on July 24.
More than 25 countries have confirmed cases of the flu-like disease, which the WHO has declared a global health emergency.
There have been 33 cases on land and more than 200 positive tests of people quarantined on a cruise ship floating off Yokohama since last week.
"We did talk about that," said the Australian.
"But I can confirm Tokyo 2020 remains on track," insisted Coates, who revealed IOC president Thomas Bach will lay a wreath at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park on the sidelines of the May 19-20 executive project review.
"But we will have information from the qualifiers that are under way and take the necessary steps."