MOSCOW, February 20. /TASS/. Chinese athletes continue with their trainings and preparations for the 2020 Olympics in Japan this summer despite the ongoing novel coronavirus spread, Xinhua news agency reported on Thursday.
The 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo are scheduled to be held between July 24 and August 9 and the 2020 Summer Paralympic Games will run between August 25 and September 6.
"Our teams are all focusing on their training and competitions," the Chinese news agency quoted a spokesman for China's General Administration of Sport as saying. "We are confident of building a strong Chinese team at the Olympic Games as well as fighting against the novel coronavirus."
According to Xinhua, all athletes from the national teams of China are training for the 2020 Summer Olympics under enclosed conditions, which means that their apartments, dining halls and training sites are all sealed off to avert virus infection.
The national teams are also permitted either to make trips abroad in advance or extend their overseas trainings to make sure that their participation in the Olympic qualifying tournaments would not be subjected to a danger of catching the virus.
In view of the novel coronavirus spread, the Chinese authorities ruled to suspend indefinitely all sports tournaments in the country, including Olympic qualifying tournaments in boxing (scheduled for February 3-14) and women’s football (scheduled for February 3-9), as well as the 2022 Winter Olympics trial competitions in biathlon (scheduled for February 27-March 2) and alpine skiing (scheduled for February 15-16).
The Chinese capital of Beijing is to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games on February 4-20.
The novel coronavirus spread also prevented a number of Chinese athletes from participation in the 2020 Olympics qualifiers, held in other countries.
"The epidemic did affect some teams' Olympic qualifiers, but it didn't have much effect on their Olympic berths," the spokesman for China's General Administration of Sport said. "We are confident of achieving good results in Tokyo."
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) revealed in a statement to TASS on Wednesday that it was making sure that Chinese athletes enjoy fair opportunities for the participation in the qualifiers for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization about an outbreak of pneumonia of unknown etiology in Wuhan, an economic and industrial megalopolis with a population of 11 million.
The virus was identified on January 7 as 2019-nCoV. Apart from China, 29 other countries and territories, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases.
The World Health Organization declared the new coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated on February 11 that the organization gave the novel coronavirus an official name of COVID-19.
According to the latest reports, over 75,770 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus have been confirmed in China and other countries. The virus’ death toll has hit the number of 2,130, yet more than 16,880 patients have recovered from the disease.