Olympic Committee says it will 'step up its scenario planning' amid coronavirus outbreak

Olympic Committee says it will 'step up its scenario planning' amid coronavirus outbreak
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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said Sunday it will modify existing operational plans, including possibly postponing, the summer games set to begin in Tokyo in July amid the coronavirus outbreak. 

The committee’s executive board said it will “step up its scenario-planning” for the Tokyo 2020 games as new challenges emerge due to the global pandemic. 

“The IOC will, in full coordination and partnership with the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese authorities and the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, start detailed discussions to complete its assessment of the rapid development of the worldwide health situation and its impact on the Olympic Games, including the scenario of postponement,” the committee said in an announcement

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The committee anticipated critical venues needed for the games could potentially not be available due to the outbreak. 

The committee also noted that although there have been “significant improvements in Japan,” other countries have seen a dramatic increase in cases and outbreaks. 

The committee’s executive board reiterated its commitment not to cancel the event. 

“The IOC [executive board] emphasized that a cancellation of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 would not solve any of the problems or help anybody. Therefore, cancellation is not on the agenda,” the committee said. 

Large gatherings and sports events across the country have been cancelled in wake of the pandemic. 

More than 328,000 COVID-19 cases and 14,000 deaths have been confirmed globally, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.