IOC pushes back training for Tokyo Olympics volunteers as coronavirus fears persist

The International Olympic Committee is postponing training for thousands of volunteers for the upcoming Tokyo Games as fears over the spread of the coronavirus linger.

Organizers insist that despite the postponement and uncertainty around the virus, canceling the games is not on the table.

‘There are no considerations of canceling’

“There are no considerations of canceling the games nor will the postponements of these activities have an impact on the overall games preparation,” organizers said on Friday, per the Associated Press.

A statement on the Tokyo 2020 volunteer website confirms that the postponement is due to coronavirus concerns.

“As part of the measures to prevent the spreading of the coronavirus COVID-19, the group training sessions scheduled for 22 February onwards will be postponed until May or afterwards,” the statement reads. “We will notify you of further details as soon as they are fixed.”

Organizers insist that canceling the Tokyo games is not a consideration. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

80,000 volunteers expected for games

According to AP, more than 200,000 people applied for 80,000 volunteer positions that the IOC describes as “key support to ensure the success of the games.”

The Tokyo games are scheduled to take place from July 24-Aug. 9.

The coronavirus emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late 2019 and has spread throughout Asia and beyond with 2,250 confirmed deaths according to AP. More than 76,000 people worldwide have been confirmed as infected with the virus.

More than 700 cases have been confirmed in Japan with the majority of them stemming from a quarantined cruise ship docked in Tokyo Bay, according to AP.

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