‘Difficult but wise decision’: WHO lauds postponement of Olympics

WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Photo: FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is lauding the “difficult but wise decision” by the Government of Japan and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to postpone this year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The games, originally set for this summer, will now be staged during the summer of 2021.

“I thank Prime Minister Abe and the members of the IOC for making this sacrifice to protect the health of athletes, spectators and officials,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus. “We look forward to next year’s Olympics and Paralympics, which we hope will be an even bigger and better celebration of our shared humanity—and I look forward to joining.”

The postponement of the games resulted from the global spread of the novel coronavirus.

Ghebreyesus said that “we have overcome many pandemics and crises before” and will overcome this one too.

“The question is how large a price we will pay. Already we have lost more than 16,000 lives. We know we will lose more—how many more will be determined by the decisions we make and the actions we take now,” he added.