TOKYO: Organisers of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics have unveiled two new mascots in their bid to reverse dwindling interest in the event in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
A Tokyo Olympics spokesperson said the new mascots, Corona and Covid (main picture), would spearhead an urgent round of international promotions and advertising to stem a string of cancellations organisers are expecting to hit the Games.
“We recognise we need to reassure people the world over that the Olympic Games are safe to attend and to participate in,” the spokesperson said.
“We know some people have accused us of being insensitive for pressing ahead with the Games.
“But we hope our new mascots will change that attitude by travelling the world and infecting people in every nation with the Olympics spirit,” the spokesperson said.
SYDNEY: Australia’s leading right-wing think-tank has attacked the Morrison Government over its management of the current coronavirus.
The Institute of Public Affairs said the Morrison Government had fallen into the trap of assuming the private sector’s role in responding to the virus.
“We maintain the free market is best placed to sort out issues like the coronavirus and there has never been any real need for governments to involve themselves,” a spokesperson said.
“Our private health system is adequately positioned to handle any coronavirus cases. Of course people have to be able to pay for treatment. Business isn’t a charity.
“As for ongoing job losses, that’s just a myth. As in any market response some jobs will disappear while others will be created in response to this crisis.
“For instance, a lot of casual workers may lose jobs in the retail and hospitality sector, but there’ll be plenty of new jobs opening up in, say, the funeral industry,” the spokesperson said.
HOBART: Liberal Party Senator for Tasmania, Eric Abetz, said he is yet to be convinced that the coronavirus is worthy of being declared a pandemic.
“I really don’t think the science is settled on this question,” Senator Abetz said.
“I mean all we have is the word of the World Health Organisation which is a United Nations body so I suggest it’s immediately suspect.
“In addition, people’s temperatures are being used to generate panic and distress about this so-called ‘virus crisis’.
“People’s temperatures have always gone up and down over history, so I just don’t think that’s a valid reason for everyone to panic and for small nations like Australia to ruin their economies by taking drastic action that’s just not needed,” he said.