WHO confident Japan, IOC will not proceed with Olympics if dangerous to athletes or fans
Updated: 2020-03-24 10:04:11 KST
With the number of global COVID-19 cases surpassing the 300-thousand mark, the World Health Organization's Executive Director for Health Emergencies Program says the future of the Games is under "very close observation at the moment", adding the decision will be made by the IOC and the Japanese government very soon.
Michael Ryan said the decision on whether to postpone is for the IOC and the Japanese government alone, but the WHO is offering them risk advice.
The advice includes not proceeding if it's dangerous to athletes or spectators.
As the uncertainty continues to simmer, a couple of countries have already pulled out.
Canada became the first country to announce on Monday that it will not take part in the Olympics.
Australia later revealed its intent to stay away this summer.
New Zealand is also seriously looking into boycotting the Tokyo Games if they are not postponed.
President Trump took to Twitter on Monday to say the U.S. would follow whatever decision is made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, adding that Abe "will make the proper decision".
Earlier this month Trump said the Olympics would be much better off postponing for a year, than to be held behind closed doors, adding to the list of people calling for a postponement.
Trump's message on Monday came as Abe notified the Japanese parliament that a delay is possible, as it's unlikely the Games could be fully held, with a number of countries concerned about the global outbreak of COVID-19.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.