The head of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games has raised conerns about the negative impact the 2019 Novel Coronavirus could have on the games. Chief Executive of the Olympic Committee, Takashi Muto, says the outbreak could hurt the games but there are no plans to cancel.
“I am seriously worried that the spread of the infectious disease could throw cold water on the momentum toward the Games,” Muto says. The Games are set to begin on July 24th.
“I truly hope that the infectious disease will die down so that we will be able to operate the Paralympics and Olympics smoothly,” says Saburo Kawabuchi, mayor of the Olympic Village. The Village is set to host almost 11,000 competitors.
The 2019 Novel Coronavirus has been reported to have infected over 23,000 and caused 490 deaths in the mainland of China. This has led to the cancellation of a number of sporting events, including a scheduled stop of the FINA Diving World Series in March.
In Japan 33 cases of the virus have been reported. In addition, a cruise ship is in quarantine just off the coast of Japan with about 3,700 people on board after 10 passengers were discovered to have the virus.
Many countries are imposing travel bans for those who have been visiting the infected area.
Factories and stores are being closed down in China in an attempt to contain the outbreak, including half of the countries Starbucks locations and all of its Apple stores. China has cut trade tariffs in half on a collection of U.S. goods in an attempt to mitigate the economic damage being done by the outrbeak, which includes most countries closing off flights from mainland China.
The Olympics draw closer as they are set to take place July 24th through August 9th of this year.