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Norovirus downs 128 ahead of opening in Pyeongchang

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Volunteers take photos in front of the Olympic rings near the finish area during the men’s downhill training at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Friday.  The main  hub of the Games, which unfold today, is at Pyeongchang, with two athletes representing the Philippines. (AP)

Volunteers take photos in front of the Olympic rings near the finish area during the men’s downhill training at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Friday. The main hub of the Games, which unfold today, is at Pyeongchang, with two athletes representing the Philippines. (AP)

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Philippine delegates at the 2018 Winter Olympics are taking extra precautions after cases of norovirus spread around the sites in Pyeongchang, South Korea prior to opening ceremonies on Friday.

In a radio interview, PH Chief of Mission Tom Carrasco said they have discussed proper preventive measures among figure skater Michael Martinez and Fil-American skier Asa Miller, as well as their coaches to keep themselves healthy for the competition.

As of this week, there were 128 confirmed cases reported by the Games organizers. Carrasco was told the latest group infected were one group of National Olympic Committee (NOC) assistants staying in one dormitory outside the villages.

They are now quarantined for examination and observation.

“As advised by the doctor, we procured more hydrite (oral salt supplements) and multivitamins plus C for the athletes and the members of the delegation,” said Carrasco.

There are only six members of the PH contingent: Martinez, Miller, their respective coaches, Carrasco and a liaison officer from the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Organizers prepared freshly unpacked bottles of hand sanitizers in every venues, particularly at the cafeteria in the athletes’ village. Informational campaigns with multilingual posters were disseminated.

Sometimes referred to as the “winter vomiting bug,” norovirus is characterized by diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

Meanwhile, Miller serves as the country’s flag-bearer in the Games.

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