Coronavirus: Tokyo 2020 Olympics will go ahead despite outbreak, say organisers

WHO: No case for cancelling, moving Tokyo Games over Covid-19

WHO: No case for cancelling, moving Tokyo Games over Covid-19

The coronavirus broke out in Wuhan, in the Hubei province of eastern China, which is 2500km away from Tokyo in neighbouring Japan.

John Coates, an International Olympic Committee member who heads the regular inspection visits to Tokyo, said he expected to receive reports on the virus from the Japanese government, the Tokyo city government, and local organizers in order to see the "necessary precautions that are being taken". 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.

"I want to state clearly that cancellation or postponement of the Tokyo Games has not been considered", Mori said at a press conference on Thursday.

Despite the cancellation or postponement of a number of sporting events in China and Asia, including cycling's Tour of Hainan, Tokyo 2020's president, Yoshiro Mori, insisted Games remain unaffected at this stage.

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 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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.

The Hong Kong and Singapore rounds of the World Rugby Sevens Series were rescheduled from April to October on Thursday, with organizers saying the decision was taken "in response to continued health concerns relating to" the outbreak of the virus.

World Athletics have already postponed the World Indoor Championships due to held in Nanjing next month until next year.

In cycling, the Tour of Hainan, scheduled to run from February 23 to March 1, has been postponed, while two Chinese teams pulled out of the recent Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia.

The cycling events at Toyko 2020 get underway on July 25 with the men's road race, while the track events will take place from August 3-9.

CEO of the Games' organizing committee Toshiro Muto had previously said that he was "seriously worried" about the impact the virus might have on the Olympics, but later said the Games would go ahead as planned. "I hope that it will be stamped out as soon as possible".

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