Is Coronavirus a threat to the Olympics?
With less than 6 months before Japan welcomes the players and guests from all around the globe, Coronavirus erupted in China. The world is under a constant state of shock and despair due to the rising numbers of Coronavirus cases. According to the WHO: World Health Organization’s official website, 43,103 confirmed cases of Coronavirus have been registered as of 11th February 2020. The WHO has officially assessed this as a high global level risk situation.
As in Japan, most recent figures released by the WHO show 28 confirmed Coronavirus cases. And the Diamond Princess cruise liner which has been quarantined off the coast of Yokohama, Japan — about 30 minutes south of Tokyo has a total of 175 confirmed cases.
The chief executive of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, Mr. Toshiro Muto said – “I am extremely worried that the spread of the infectious disease
could throw cold water on the momentum toward the Games. I hope that it will be stamped out as soon as possible.” according to the Japanese public
The concerned populace has taken their survival concerns to social media platforms too. The subject “Tokyo Olympics will be canceled due to coronavirus” has been trending on Japanese Twitter feeds. The Japanese public seems keen on getting the games canceled to limit the spread of the coronavirus as there is a good possibility that the virus will spread further if millions of Chinese come to see the festival of sports.
The Tokyo Olympics are to host approx. 11,000 athletes from more than 200
countries and an estimated 600,000 overseas visitors. The possibility for infectious diseases to spread becomes exclusively high when such a large number of people are packed into a relatively small area. According to Reuters, Mr. Kazuhiro Tateda, the president of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases mentioned in the latest briefing – “At these kinds of mass gatherings, the risks increase that infectious diseases and the resistant virus can be carried in.”
As per Japan Times, IOC: International Olympics Committee has in no way or form indicated that the Tokyo Games could be postponed or canceled because of the coronavirus. The IOC said in a statement that it is in continuous contact with the WHO and its team of medical experts. The IOC said “We have full confidence that the relevant authorities, in particular in Japan, China and the World Health Organization, will take all the necessary measures to address the situation. And the preparations for Tokyo 2020 continue as planned.”
Source: Japan Times
Broadstone Group chairman Doug Arnot, who has been on the executive management teams of six Olympics said: “The Olympic organizing committees have become increasingly detailed with their contingency planning in recent years, and that the Tokyo committee has likely planned for every eventuality — including something like a global health emergency.”
The IOC revealed the measures being taken to confirm the successful and safe execution of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The committee continues to collaborate with all relevant organizations which will carefully monitor any incidence of infectious diseases. The IOC also added that the Japanese government and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government have also established groups to monitor and respond to issues related to the Coronavirus.