2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang Hit By an Outbreak of Norovirus

On the eve of the Winter Olympics, chiefs in South Korea have called in 900 soldiers and placed 1,200 of the staff in quarantine after an outbreak of norovirus.

Over 30 private security staff needed hospital treatment for the said illness and others also reported symptoms that include diarrhoea and vomiting.

Officials in Pyeongchang, where the Games officially start on Friday, have put all other security staff in isolation and replaced them indefinitely with some personnel from the military.

“I would like to apologise for this,” stated the president of the organising committee, Lee Hee-beom. “Our disease control centre [and] other related government agencies here are now discussing countermeasures.”

To minimise the risk of spreading the norovirus, hand sanitisers have already been distributed. The said virus also broke out during the World Athletics Championships in London that was held last year.

“Very stringent measures are in place when it comes to food and beverages,” stated Christophe Dubi, the spokesperson for the games. “As soon as a case is reported then all the area gets disinfected.”

The opening ceremony in Pyeongchang is set to take place on Friday. However, the first heats of the luge, ski jumping, and biathlon will already start on Wednesday. The Games are set to conclude on the 25th of February.