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NOC monitoring activities in Japan as host vows to protect Olympics from coronavirus


The current coronavirus pandemic, which started from Wuhan, China, has put the world on edge due to its deadly effects on its victims. Many countries have started recalling their citizens from China, with some warning their compatriots to stay away from neighbouring countries, including Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games hosts, Japan, as well as Hong Kong, Macao, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan.

However, the Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC) has assured Nigerians billed to attend the 2020 Olympics that it is on top of the situation. The NOC yesterday told The Guardian that it has been monitoring activities in Japan over the reported case of the Coronavirus disease in the Asian, adding that it would take the right decision on the issue.

The 2020 Olympic Games will hold from July 24 to August 29 in Tokyo.According to reports, the virus, which was discovered in Wuhan city of China, has killed over 130 people so far. Some cases of the deadly virus have been identified in 16 counties, including Japan.

Speaking on the pandemic, the NOC through its Media Officer, Phemmy Adetula said a programme has been made to ensure the safety of Nigerian sportsmen and officials, adding, however, “the NOC has not been briefed on the level of spread of the coronavirus in Japan by the Local Organising Committee of the 2020 Japan Olympics.

“We are aware that an athletics championship has been postponed in China because of the Coronavirus outbreak. “The NOC will continue to monitor activities in Japan even though the Olympics is still five months away from now. This is because the NOC does not want to risk the life of any member of the Nigerian contingent to the deadly virus,” he said.

Yesterday, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe vowed the outbreak of the virus in neighbouring China would not have any impact on the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics this summer. Abe said he would work with international officials, including the World Health Organization (WHO), to ensure preparations for the games are not disrupted.

“By coordinating our efforts with the WHO and other related agencies, we will take appropriate steps so that preparations to hold the events will steadily continue,” Abe told a parliamentary session.AFP reports that Japan’s sports and Olympic officials will hold a meeting later this week to discuss the outbreak and Tokyo’s efforts to prevent a further spread, Olympic minister, Seiko Hashimoto said.

Japanese officials are scrambling to control the virus, warning citizens against non-essential travel to China and refusing entry to foreigners who have recently visited Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak.

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