Despite the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), Japan is planning for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games to go as scheduled. To their dismay, other countries have started an Olympics boycott.
On March 23, NHK reported that International Olympic Committee (IOC) plans to relay the torch on March 26 in Fukushima.
Coronavirus outbreak seems most aggravating in Europe, where the disease is causing hundreds of deaths a day. However, the spread rate is rapidly increasing in Japan as well. As a result, a few countries have announced to boycott the Olympics and more countries are following suit.
Olympics Boycott in New Zealand
The New Zealand Olympic Committee said New Zealand would not participate in the Olympics this year. According to The Guardian, New Zealand Olympic chairman Mike Stanley announced in an open letter today, “Athletes need a safe, and fair, playing field to compete. Right now, the widespread and evolving impact of Covid-19 is not allowing that to happen.” He urged the IOC to “finalise their decision as soon as possible, bringing clarity to our sports and athletes … The IOC will make a decision as soon as possible to deliver a clear message to our athletic community and athletes.”
Chairman Stanley added, “If IOC does not postpone the Tokyo Olympics, New Zealand will consider the Olympic boycott this year.”
New Zealand has 102 coronavirus patients so far, which is a sharp rise from 66 positive cases as of yesterday.
Olympics Boycott in Canada
The Canadian Olympic Organizing Committee (COC) also announced that Canada would not attend the Olympics if Japan doesn’t postpone it for at least a year. COC released a statement today saying, “the COC and the Paralympic Organizing Committee (CPC) have made a difficult decision not to send Canadian players if the request for acting is not accepted in support of the Athlete Committee.
“IOC and the International Paralympic Organizing Committee (IPC) asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to postpone the Olympic Games for one year and promise to cooperate fully if postponed. I know that playing the Olympics is complicated. But nothing is more important than the health and safety of our players and the world. “
In Canada, there are 1,328 positive cases and 14 deaths so far. Canada closed its border to all foreign nationals except Americans last Monday. The country has begun to block asylum seekers from U.S. due to COVID-19, according to CP24.
There have been much speculations on whether Japan will postpone the Olympics. What do you think will happen to the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games? Share your thoughts in the comments below. In the meantime, find out more updates on coronavirus.
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