Wed, Jun 24, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Athletes to attend Universiade in South Korea: official

MERS:The Sports Administration said it took into consideration participation by other nations in the games and an evaluation of the health situation by the WHO

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan will attend the Summer Universiade next month in Gwangju, South Korea, despite concern over an outbreak of the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), the Sports Administration said yesterday.

After an extensive assessment of the development of the outbreak, it was decided that Taiwanese athletes will participate in the sports event as scheduled, Sports Administration Director-General Ho Jow-fei (何卓飛) said.

The decision was made earlier in the day at an inter-agency meeting, based on information provided by the ministries of foreign affairs and health and welfare, and doctors and representatives from the Chinese Taipei University Sports Federation, Ho said.

The government agencies also took into account the precautionary measures adopted by the Universiade’s organizers against MERS, the participation of other countries and an evaluation by the WHO, said Ho, who convened the meeting.

He said the situation in South Korea is under control and no MERS cases have been reported in Gwangju.

The organizers of the Universiade have put precautionary measures in place to ensure the health and safety of participating athletes, Ho added.

A total of 237 Taiwanese athletes are scheduled to compete in 16 sports at the biennial event, also known as the World University Games, which will be held from July 3 to 14.

The athletes will be accompanied by 24 medical staff members. The delegation will carry 5,000 face masks as a precaution.

However, the Sports Administration will respect the decision of any athlete who decides to withdraw from the games, Ho said, adding that none of them had indicated an intention to do so.

The Taiwanese athletes will depart for South Korea in separate groups, with the first batch leaving on Saturday.

The athletes will be housed in the Athletes Village and will be expected to abide by the rules on precautionary measures against MERS, the Sports Administration said.

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