Dick Pound, a senior member of the International Olympic Committee and former Canadian swimming champion, says that the clock is ticking for the IOC to determine whether the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan will go on as scheduled despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
According to Pound, there is a maximum of a three-month window for organizers of the games to determine whether they will go on as scheduled or whether they will ultimately be canceled or postponed.
If it is determined that the Tokyo Olympics cannot go on as planned, Pound says it is likely that the event will be canceled.
“In and around that time, I’d say folks are going to have to ask: ‘Is this under sufficient control that we can be confident about going to Tokyo or not?'” Pound said in an interview with The Associated Press.
“A lot of things have to start happening. You’ve got to start ramping up your security, your food, the Olympic Village, the hotels. The media folks will be in there building their studios.”
China’s first Winter X-Games was previously postponed due to the threat of the virus outbreak.
The coronavirus mainly comes from animals and a majority of those who were infected early either worked at or frequently visited the Huanan seafood wholesale market in Wuhan, according to The Guardian. The virus is similar to Severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) and Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (Mers).
The Wuhan coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through “droplet transmission.” That means an infected person can pass the virus by sneezing or coughing on another person as well as by direct contact.
While a majority of the cases have been detected in China, it has now reached many countries around the world including the United States. It has also been confirmed in Italy, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and many other eastern countries.