SPORTS

Fiji Boxing Team Warned Of ‘Mystery Disease’ Ahead Of Olympic Qualifiers In China

The three-member Fijian team, comprising Jone Koroilagilagi, Winston Hill and head coach Pauliasi Ratu (Senior), depart Fiji on January 29, with the qualifiers scheduled on February 3-14.
19 Jan 2020 11:58
Fiji Boxing Team Warned Of ‘Mystery Disease’ Ahead Of Olympic Qualifiers In China
Amateur boxers Winston Hill and Jone Koroilagilagi in Sydney, Australia last year.

As Fiji’s amateur boxing team finalize preparations for the Asia-Oceania Boxing Olympic qualifiers, the Chinese city hosting the event is in the throes of a ‘mystery disease’ outbreak.

The three-member Fijian team, comprising Jone Koroilagilagi, Winston Hill and head coach Pauliasi Ratu (Senior), depart Fiji on January 29, with the qualifiers scheduled on February 3-14.

The ‘mystery disease’ has killed two people and sickened more than 45, according to Xinhua news.

As it stands, the qualifiers will go on as scheduled but could be moved to the Philippines or Thailand in the event that the outbreak escalates.

The Fiji Association of Sport and National Olympic Committee (FASANOC) chief executive officer Lorraine Mar has advised boxing officials to pay attention to all travel advisories.

The Fiji Amateur Boxing Association president, Manasa Baravilala, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

But coach Ratu said that their flights and accommodation in China had been booked, meaning any last-minute changes would be an expensive affair.

The outbreak is also being closely monitored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The event in Wuhan is one of five qualifiers for boxing at July’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

“We are aware of the reports on the outbreak of pneumonia in Wuhan,” the IOC stated.

“As it stands, the WHO have indicated that the Chinese authorities have confirmed that SARS and MERS Coronaviruses have been ruled out, and that there is no convincing evidence of human to human transmission.

“Therefore, no specific actions or changes to standard travel health advice have been decided so far.

“The IOC will keep on following any developments of the situation through WHO and Chinese authorities.”

The WHO says the virus responsible for the outbreak came from a family of viruses which led to the deadly Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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