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(Olympics) PyeongChang making 'ultimate possible efforts' to contain norovirus: IOC official

2018/02/06 20:39

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By Chang Dong-woo

PYEONGCHANG, Feb. 6 (Yonhap) -- A senior International Olympics Committee (IOC) official said Tuesday that organizers of the PyeongChang Winter Games were doing everything possible to contain a norovirus outbreak that occurred near the venue.

Some 1,200 personnel handling security for the PyeongChang Olympics are currently sequestered in their rooms to be tested for norovirus, a contagious virus that causes stomach pain and diarrhea.

The move comes after 41 security guards suffering diarrhea and vomiting tested positive for the virus. The security personnel are currently replaced by some 900 soldiers.

"They're really making the ultimate possible effort to make sure that everybody is aware (of measures against the virus), and where there are cases, that the right measures are taken," Christophe Dubi, the Olympic Games executive director for the IOC, said at a press conference.

Dubi noted how the PyeongChang organizing committee was taking a no-risk, by-the-books approach when it came to the health matters that could possibly affect the games.

"If any more is identified … then the area gets disinfected and that's the way they will proceed," said Dubi.

The executive director also tried to assuage concerns over the possibility of an outbreak within the athletes' village.

"We don't know exactly what the source was … but when it comes to the food and beverage the whole chain of securing the quality of food, they are definitely respecting all international standards," said Dubi.

Dubi also said leaflets highlighting the dangers of the norovirus and how to protect oneself from infection will be distributed to the general population within the Olympic venues.

In this file photo, a group of enlisted soldiers enters the Olympic Village for the PyeongChang Olympics in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 5, 2018, to conduct a security check. (Yonhap) In this file photo, a group of enlisted soldiers enters the Olympic Village for the PyeongChang Olympics in Gangneung, Gangwon Province, on Feb. 5, 2018, to conduct a security check. (Yonhap)

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