21:58 GMT01 December 2020
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    Coronavirus Pandemic: Borders Shut, Public Events Cancelled (257)
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    Mass activities, including sports events, have been cancelled worldwide, as governments fear the further spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

    Team Australia could not be assembled for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games amid the coronavirus pandemic, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) announced in a statement on Monday.

    "The AOC says Australian athletes should prepare for a Tokyo Olympic Games in the northern summer of 2021, following the IOC's announcement of a potential postponement of this year' Games and changes in public health landscape in Australia and across the globe", the statement says.

    Australian Team Chef de Mission for Tokyo Ian Chesterman said, after getting feedback from athletes from over 25 sports last week, that "the Games can't be held in July".

    "The AOC held an Executive Board meeting via teleconference this morning and unanimously agreed that an Australian Team could not be assembled in the changing circumstances at home and abroad", the AOC said.

    On Sunday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and the Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) announced that they were not going to send their teams to the Tokyo Olympics and called for postponing the games for one year.

    Meanwhile, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says his country does not rule out the postponement if the Games cannot be held safely in a full format amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The announcements come as the global coronavirus toll has exceeded 292,000 and fatalities crossed 12,700, according to the latest situation report from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

    Coronavirus Pandemic: Borders Shut, Public Events Cancelled (257)
    athletes, health, virus, pandemic, Japan, Australia, sports, Olympics
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