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Coronavirus: Health experts say it’ll take a ‘miracle’ for Olympics to go ahead as planned

Canadian public health experts say the rapid spread of the new coronavirus means it’s increasingly unlikely that this summer’s Tokyo Olympics will proceed as scheduled.

This is despite assurances from Olympic organizers — including Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach — who have repeatedly said the Games will proceed without delay or disruption.

“They’re hoping that some miracle is going to happen, but chances are there’s no miracle coming,” said Dr. Michael Gardam, an infectious disease specialist and chief of staff at Toronto’s Humber River Hospital.

The Olympics are scheduled to run between July 24 and Aug. 9 in Tokyo. The Games typically bring together more than 10,000 athletes from 190 countries, plus hundreds of thousands of tourists and spectators.

Local organizers, including Abe and Japan’s Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto, said Tuesday they are still preparing for a “complete” Games, including a full schedule of events with spectators.

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