Taiwan will go to Gwangju Universiade despite MERS


TAIPEI — Taiwan will attend the Summer Universiade next month in Gwangju, South Korea, despite the spread of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) there, the Sports Administration said Tuesday.

After an extensive assessment of the development of the epidemic, it was decided that Taiwanese athletes will participate in the sports event as scheduled, said Ho Jow-fei (何� �� , director-general of the Sports Administration.

He 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.

The agencies also took into account the precautionary measures adopted by the Games’ organizers against MERS, the participation of other countries and an evaluation by the World Health Organization, said Ho, who had 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 Games have put precautionary measures in place to ensure the health and safety of the 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 July 3-14.

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

The Sports Administration, however, 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 June 27, according to the Sports Administration.