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Olympics 2020

Coronavirus Pandemic: Global death toll crosses 20,000; Italy-Spain account for more than half

The global coronavirus death toll crossed 20,000-mark on Wednesday Italy recorded another 683 deaths within 24 hours, taking the number to 7503. The number of cases in the country reached 74,384 with 5,210 more cases being recorded on Wednesday. 

Spain, the second most affected country in the European Union, surpassed China in terms of the number of deaths as added 443 dead to its yesterday’s figure. Spain has recorded 3,434 deaths against China’s figure of 3,281. The number of cases in Spain rose to 47,610 as it added 5,552 new patients to the growing list of coronavirus infected people. 

The number of affected people worldwide crossed 4.5 lakh-mark, with the Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus database putting the figure at 451,355, adding over 45,000 cases in just one day. 

The number of cases in the past two weeks has seen a dramatic jump. While it took 67 days from the detection of the first case to reach one lakh, most of them in China, it took 11 days to infect another one lakh people. The number of cases rose exponentially after that as it took only four days to reach from 2 to 3 lakh and three days to add another one lakh cases as it crossed 4-lakh mark on Tuesday. 

The most dramatic rise in a number of cases has been in the United States where total confirmed cases reached 60,115 on Wednesday with 827 related deaths. The US added over 6,000 cases and 58 deaths in just 24 hours. 

In terms of cases per million, China’s is 56 while Italy has the total case per million population of 1230. China has registered 2 deaths/million while it is 124 in Italy. 

The number of deaths in Iran crossed 2,000-mark. The Johns Hopkins University database put the number of deaths in Iran at 2,077 with the total number of confirmed cases at 27,017. 

In India, the number of cases jumped to 606 with 10 deaths. The government on Tuesday imposed a nationwide complete lockdown from 21-days with only essential personnel allowed to come out of their homes. 

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Postponed to 2021 confirms IOC member Pound

International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound told USA TODAY Sports Monday afternoon that the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are going to be postponed, likely to 2021, with the details to be worked out in the next four weeks.

“On the basis of the information the IOC has, postponement has been decided,The parameters going forward have not been determined, but the Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know.” Pound said in a phone interview.

Pound, a Canadian who has been one of the most influential members of the IOC for decades, said he believes the IOC will announce its next steps soon.

“It will come in stages,” he said. “We will postpone this and begin to deal with all the ramifications of moving this, which are immense.”

When told what Pound had said and asked for an IOC response, spokesperson Mark Adams said, “It is the right of every IOC member to interpret the decision of the IOC executive board which was announced yesterday.” 

In that announcement Sunday, IOC President Thomas Bach said he was going to take the next four weeks to decide the fate of the Tokyo Olympics, scheduled to begin July 24. Bach has ruled out canceling the Games.

The Olympics would be the latest – and, by far, most significant – sporting event to be impacted by the coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December. Also known as COVID-19, the virus rapidly spread throughout China and across the world in subsequent months, infecting hundreds of thousands of people and causing substantial disruptions to daily life in numerous countries.

Pound’s comments came less than 24 hours after In a letter to the athlete community, he said the IOC would begin exploring alternate ways to stage the Games, including postponement, and plan to reach a decision within the next four weeks.

Canadian athletes to not compete at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games : COVID-19

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) said that they won’t send athletes to the Olympics in Tokyo unless the Games are postponed by one year. 

The 2020 Games are set to begin from July 24 and still, discussions about the postponement of the event are on amid concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

The move comes hours after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it would take a month to consider postponing the 2020 Olympics following an emergency meeting earlier on Sunday.

Backed by the Athletes’ Commissions, National Sport Organizations and the Government of Canada, the COC and CPC say they “made the difficult decision to not send Canadian teams to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in the summer of 2020.”

“While we recognize the inherent complexities around a postponement, nothing is more important than the health and safety of our athletes and the world community,” the COC said in a statement. 

“This is not solely about athlete health – it is about public health.”

The committee has said it was willing to help IOC search for alternatives, but that it was not safe for athletes, “their families and the broader Canadian community for athletes to continue training for these Games.”

The statement also cited the scope of the public health threat. “Containing the virus must be our paramount concern. We are in the midst of a global health crisis that is far more significant than sport.”

Seyi Smith, chair of the Canadian Olympic Committee Athletes’ Commission, said the decision will ensure people are safe. “It’s been a collective process to get here,”  Smith said.

He added how officials from the COC called the 14 members of the athletes’ commission to get their insights. “It’s the uncertainty that is the worst thing. In sport and in life. People are sick, people are dying.”

As for the IOC, it stated in a press release that “cancellation is not on the agenda” with respect to the upcoming Games.

Canada is the first country to threaten such a move. It joins a number of countries – including Norway, Brazil, and Slovenia – that have pressed the IOC on a possible postponement.

After Canada’s announcement, the Australian Olympic Committee has also said a delegation “could not be assembled in the changing circumstances at home and abroad”. It has told its athletes to prepare for the Olympics to be held in 2021.