Japan ends Olympic flame display due to COVID-19 threat

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 07, 2020, 04:31 PM(IST)

Japan ends Olympic flame display due to virus Photograph:( AFP )

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The Olympic flame, which was lit in Greece and was on public display in the northeastern Fukushima region in Japan since last week, will be removed from display in Japan, officials confirmed on Thursday with the host of the Games bracing for a state of emergency due to COVID-19.

The Olympic flame, which was lit in Greece and was on public display in the northeastern Fukushima region in Japan since last week, will be removed from display in Japan, officials confirmed on Thursday with the host of the Games bracing for a state of emergency due to COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic had earlier forced the historic postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

With COVID-19 cases climbing in Japan, the Olympic organisers have decided to shelve the Olympic flame, which arrived in Japan on March 20 for a torch relay originally scheduled to start on March 26 and conclude at the Olympics opening ceremony on July 24. 

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"Originally we wanted to hold the public display until the end of April. But considering recent developments, we decided to stop," said a Tokyo 2020 organising committee spokesman.

Earlier, to keep the Olympic spirit alive in Japan, the organisers had decided to keep the flame in a lantern in Fukushima, where the relay was going to commence.

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The Tokyo 2020 organising committee spokesman further said that organisers have no immediate plan to keep it on public display while avoiding public gathering around the storage location.

The flame arrived in Japan amid a muted welcome in front select officials and guests after plans to invite 200 school-going kids were scrapped.

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