Foreign Policy
Fri Apr 03, 2020 4:31
IOC Thanks Iran's Support to Postpone 2020 Tokyo Games
TEHRAN (FNA)- International Olympic Committee (IOC) praised Iran's support to cancel 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games as a measure to stem coronavirus spread.

In a letter that was written on Thursday to Head of Iran's National Olympic Committee Reza Salehi-Amiri, the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach said, "As you know the postponement took place after holding various sessions with the Committee for holding games and the Japanese government as part of efforts to ensure safety of the athletes."

"Naturally, you and the Iranian athletes have many questions in mind on rescheduling the event", he wrote, hoping that he would have an opportunity to reach a reasonable agreement with the Organizing Committee on the details.

Bach assured that all the questions will be answered in a short time.

According to him, now humanity sees itself in a dark tunnel that the Tokyo Olympics is promising enlightenment and bright days at the end of this dark tunnel.

The rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games will open on July 23 next year, with the closing ceremony taking place on August 8.

This year's Olympics were due to begin on July 24 and run to August 9; yet they were all put off because of the COVID-19 outbreak that has already swept across the world.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting approximately all countries and territories around the world. The virus was first reported in the central Chinese city of Wuhan late last year. It has so far killed more than 53,000 people and infected over 1 million others globally.

As for Iran, the Iranian health ministry announced on Thursday that 2,875 new cases of infection to COVID-19 virus have been identified in the country, adding that 3,160 patients have died so far.

“According to definite diagnostic standards, a sum of 2,875 new cases of infection to COVID-19 virus have been identified in Iran during the past 24 hours, increasing the number of infections to 50, 468,” Health Ministry Spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.

He added that fortunately, 16,711 patients infected with COVID-19 virus have also recovered and been discharged from hospital.

Jahanpour said that 124 coronavirus patients have passed away during the past 24 hours, noting that the death toll has increased to 3,160 so far.

The Iranian foreign ministry declared that despite Washington’s claims of cooperation to transfer drugs to Iran via the new Swiss-launched payment mechanism, the US is troubling the process amid the coronavirus outbreak in the country.

Although US claims that medicines and medical equipment are not under sanctions, they have practically blocked the transfer of Iran’s financial resources in other countries into the Swiss Humanitarian Trade Arrangement (SHTA), Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said.

As the death toll from the virus surges, Iran intensifies its preventive safety measures. Closures of schools and universities have been extended until early April.

The government also imposed travel restrictions, specially on Iran’s North, which is among the red zones. The country has also adopted strict digital health control procedures at airports to spot possible infections.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced earlier this month that a new national mobilization plan would be implemented across the country to fight against the coronavirus epidemic and more effectively treat patients.

Namaki said that the plan will include all the 17,000 health centers and the 9,000 medical and clinical centers in all cities, suburban areas and villages.

He added that the plan will include home quarantine, noting that infected people will receive the necessary medicines and advice, but they are asked to stay at home.

Namaki said that people with a more serious condition will stay at the hospitals, adding that the public places will be disinfected, the entries of infected towns and cities will be controlled to diagnose and quarantine the infected cases.

He added that the necessary equipment and facilities have been provided, expressing the hope that the epidemic would be curbed.

According to the latest statistics of Health Ministry, the number of medical laboratories to test coronavirus infection has reached 90 across the country.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says Iran's response to the virus has so far been up to the mark. Still, it says the US sanctions are a big challenge, and Washington would be complicit in the rising death toll in Iran if it would not remove its sanctions.

The World Health Organization has considered priorities in combating coronavirus and Islamic Republic of Iran obeys and follows up priorities as defined by WHO.

The WHO is dispatching separate delegations to all countries.

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