Winter Olympics hit by virus and freezing temperatures

Plunging temperatures and a virus challenge Winter Olympic's organisers
By Mark Armstrong with Reuters
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Organishers of the Winter Olympics in South Korea say everything is on track despite a virus spreading among staff that causes vomiting and stomach cramps.


Organisers of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea insist everything is on track for Friday's opening ceremony despite a virus spreading among workers that causes vomiting and stomach cramps.

1,200 private security staff have been sidelined, forcing organisers to replace them with military personnel pending medical tests.

However on the president of the organising committee, Lee Hee-Boem, said the situation is under control:

"I would like to apologise for this. Our disease control centre and other related government agencies here are now discussing countermeasures and will come up with proper measures that will be announced soon."

The games' chief made light of the problem at the news conference by donning a woolly hat and winter anorak. He told reporters that the staff are fully operational and that many of the athletes and officials are settling into the villages and training is underway.

Overnight temperatures have recently plunged as low as minus 21 degrees.

Lee said a special bag with hot packs, seatwarmers, a blanket, a hat and a windbreaker would be distributed to spectators in an effort to keep them warm at the start of what could turn out to be the coldest winter Olympics in decades.

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