PH offers to host Olympic boxing qualifiers amid Wuhan pneumonia outbreak
MANILA, Philippines — As it stands, the pneumonia outbreak in Wuhan won’t get in the way of the Asia/Oceania Olympic boxing qualifiers scheduled in the Chinese city next month.
But if things escalate, Ed Picson, secretary general of the Association of Boxing Alliances in the Philippines (Abap), said the Philippines is prepared to take on the hosting duties if needed.
“We only have a little over two weeks to go. I know there are countries that have offered to host the event in lieu of Wuhan, China,” Picson said during the PSA Forum Tuesday at Amelie Hotel Manila.
“We are also thinking about hosting it and I already sent feelers to the IOC task force regarding this. We feel that with the recent staging of the SEA Games we have the mechanics in place and the people who can perhaps undertake the hosting.”
The outbreak, reportedly caused by a new coronavirus, has 41 confirmed cases but no new related cases have been found in China since January 3.
Picson added he also received an email from the International Olympic Committee boxing task force on Tuesday morning, alleviating the threat of the virus.
In the letter, the IOC task force said Chinese authorities have “ruled out” the possibility of SARS and MERS viruses as causes of the outbreak after a preliminary investigation.
“The WHO (World Health Organization) outlined that China has strong public health capacities to respond and manage respiratory outbreaks. No travel restrictions or measures are needed. We will continue to monitor the situation with the WHO,” Picson said, according to the email.
Picson aims to send as many as eight boxers to the continental qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in July spearheaded by Eumir Marcial and Nesthy Petecio.