Ebola virus forces Sierra Leone and Liberia to withdraw from Nanjing Youth Olympics


Nanjing (China), Aug 15 (IANS): Sierra Leone and Liberia, both affected by the deadly Ebola virus, will skip the Youth Olympic Games starting Saturday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) said here on Friday.

Emmanuelle Moreau, IOC's head of media relations, confirmed to Xinhua that the delegations of Sierra Leone and Liberia are not travelling to Nanjing.

More than 1,000 people have died in an Ebola outbreak in West African countries like Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria. The outbreak has forced qualifiers for the African Cup of Nations to be moved from the affected countries.

Although the risk of Ebola infection is "extremely unlikely" at the August 16-28 Youth Olympics, in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines the Chinese authorities are fully prepared should any outbreak occur, the IOC said.

"With regard to ensuring the safety of all those participating in the Youth Olympic Games and the people of the city of Nanjing we have been working closely with the Chinese health authorities and under the guidance of the WHO," the IOC and Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee (NYOGOC) said in a joint statement.

"We have been reassured by the health authorities that there have been no suspected cases and that the risk of infection is extremely unlikely," the statement read.

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Edited by Staff Editor
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