February 3, 2020 / 6:44 AM / 19 days ago

Japan will make utmost efforts to keep virus from affecting Olympic Games: PM Abe

FILE PHOTO: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gives a policy speech at the start of the regular session of parliament in Tokyo, Japan, January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Monday that the government will keep in close touch with all relevant groups to ensure a virus outbreak does not have affect the Summer Olympics.

Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said organisers are not considering cancelling the Olympics, which start on July 24.

“We will keep in close contact with everybody, including the International Olympic Committee and the World Health Organization, to take appropriate steps and keep the coronavirus from affecting the Olympics,” Abe told a parliamentary committee.

The death toll from the coronavirus epidemic in China rose to 361 on Monday and a growing number of countries are reporting cases. Japan has 20 confirmed cases, 17 of which were people who had been to China or are Chinese.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by Kim Coghill

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