Amid coronavirus crisis, Tokyo 2020 chief does not rule out cancellation of Olympics

WION Web Team
Tokyo Updated: Jul 20, 2021, 05:57 PM(IST)

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto | Olympic Games Village (Photo: AFP/Reuters) Photograph:( Agencies )

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There have been at least four coronavirus cases at the Olympic Games Village in Tokyo even asĀ  officials said 85 per cent of the athletes and team will be vaccinated against COVID-19

As the coronavirus cases continue to rise in Japan amid a state of emergency, the head of the organising committee for the Tokyo Olympics Toshiro Muto said, "We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases."

Muto said he does not rule out last-minute cancellation of the mega event stating that discussions will continue "if there is a spike in cases".

"We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises," Muto stated.

Meanwhile, the head of the Japanese Olympic committee COVID-19 chief Michiko Dohi said that she does not rule out concerns while emphasising that as long as there are proper measures against the virus, the athletes can go ahead "without too many worries".

Coronavirus cases have already clouded the Games ahead of Friday's grand ceremony as female US gymnast  Kara Eaker tested positive for coronavirus at an Olympic training camp in Japan which was the fourth case of the virus in Tokyo's Olympic Village.

Czech beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic had earlier tested positive with the South African men's football team sent in isolation after being named as close contacts even though they have their opening match on Thursday against Japan.

According to Olympic rules, athletes will be tested daily as officials said 85 per cent of the athletes and teams at Games Village will be vaccinated. There will be at least  7,000 medical staff including doctors and nurses at the venue. 

Amid the coronavirus crisis sweeping the Games, Olympics chief Thomas Bach conceded that he spent "sleepless nights" in the past 15 months to allow the Games to go ahead.

Olympics was postponed last year as the virus took hold worldwide even as Japanese public opinion was split over holding the event with the virus sweeping the country.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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