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Coronavirus: ministries to discuss athletes' participation in Para ASEAN Games

02/02/2020 09:44 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 2 -- The Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) will discuss with the Health Ministry (MOH) on whether to send national para-athletes to the 2020 ASEAN Para Games in Manila, following news of the first death caused by the 2019 coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, outside of China.

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman said the meeting would be held soon, adding that the status of other athletes currently overseas was also being monitored.

"MOH's view will be given priority, because the most important thing is the safety and health of our athletes," he said when met at a luncheon with participants of the Malaysia Future Leaders Schools (MFLS) programme here today.

According to media reports today, a 44-year-old man died of coronavirus in the Philippines on Saturday.

The Chinese national from Wuhan who had travelled to the Philippines was the first victim to succumb to the virus outside China.

The 10th edition of the ASEAN Para Games, originally scheduled to take place from Jan 18 to 24 in the Philippines, was postponed to March 20 to 28 after the host country was said to be facing financial problems.

Asked if KBS would contact the Philippines ASEAN Para Games Organising Committee (PHILAPGOC), Syed Saddiq said the ministry would be having a meeting with the committee after receiving feedback from MOH.

Meanwhile, when asked of 2017 world diving champion Cheong Jun Hoong, who is still in China undergoing training with former national coach Yang Zhuliang, Syed Saddiq, said: "We will discuss with Jun Hoong, in fact the Malaysian government has decided to help her if she wishes to return home.

"Some divers have already returned to Malaysia but for Jun Hoong nothing has been finalised."

Commenting on the five divers and two national coaches who had returned home on Friday after undergoing intensive training in China, Syed Saddiq said precautionary measures had been taken in accordance with directives from the MOH.

The five divers were Leong Mun Yee, Pandelela Rinong, Wendy Ng Yan Yee, Kimberly Bong and Enrique Harold and two national coaches, Li Rui and Li Teng.



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