MOSCOW, March 23. /TASS/. The Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) has voiced its support for the International Olympic Committee and the organizers of the 2020 Summer Games in Japan regarding a possible postponement of the Olympics this summer in view of the ongoing global spread of the novel coronavirus, the ROC press service said in a statement on Monday.
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.
"In the light of the current discussion in the global sports community regarding the staging of and the participation in the 32nd Olympiad in Tokyo, the Russian Olympic Committee states the following: our position is guided by the necessity to ensure guaranteed safety of life and health of the Games’ participants and guests as well as equal opportunities for all the athletes at qualification events and in respect of criteria for the assessment of the qualification standards," the statement reads.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated before the national parliament earlier on Monday that it was impossible to organize the Olympic Games under the current circumstances adding that he hoped to discuss this issue as soon as possible with Thomas Bach, the president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
IOC President Bach announced on Sunday that the world’s governing Olympic body was set to make a decision within four weeks on whether the 2020 Summer Games would be held in line with the initial timeframe. The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) was the first among other national Olympic committees (NOCs) to declare on Monday a decision against attending the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"In the situation of the coronavirus pandemic, the ROC as well as NOCs of other countries is in daily consultations with the IOC leadership," the statement from ROC continued. "We have no doubt that the IOC and the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee will take balanced decisions motivated by the logic of the unfolding events and based on the comprehensive analysis of potential development scenarios."
"Panic is the last resort in the current situation," according to the statement. "The ROC urges all the representatives of the sports community to keep Olympic calm, to act systematically and constructively while preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, and to make every effort to come out with a consensus on issues that are of concern to all of us in the context of the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics."
COVID-19 Global Spread
On December 31, 2019, the Chinese authorities reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) 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. The World Health Organization declared in January that the new coronavirus outbreak was a public health emergency of international concern, characterizing it as an epidemic with multiple locations.
On February 11, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that the organization gave the novel coronavirus an official name of COVID-19. On March 11, the World Health Organization officially stated that the continuously spreading novel coronavirus was a global pandemic.
As of today, 192 countries and territories reported confirmed coronavirus cases. According to the latest reports, over 353,320 cases have been confirmed worldwide. The virus’ death toll has reached 15,408, yet more than 100,600 patients have recovered from the disease.