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Russian Paralympians prepare for 2020 Games as planned despite coronavirus spread

The 2020 Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo will run between August 25 and September 6

KHANTY-MANSIYSK, February 25. /TASS/. Preparations of Russian Paralympians for the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo are not affected by the novel coronavirus spread, Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) First Vice President Pavel Rozhkov told TASS on Tuesday.

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. According to the most recent data, over 850 people in Japan were reported to be infected with the novel coronavirus.

"Japan was initially set to host trial tournaments in Boccia and other competitions, but they have been relocated," Rozhkov said. "We carry on with our preparations and have no information either from the International Paralympic Committee [IPC] or the Tokyo-2020 Organizing Committee about a possible suspension of the Paralympics."

"We are not making changes to our program of preparations and pay closer attention to our work with head coaches and medical personnel so that they are more focused on preventive measures," Rozhkov added.

On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities reported to 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, 39 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 80,340 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 2,707, yet more than 27,880 patients have recovered from the disease.