Tokyo Olympics Chief Not Ruling Out Cancellation of Summer time Video games as COVID-19 Circumstances Rise

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TOKYO, JAPAN – JULY 13: (L-R) Tokyo 2020 Video games Supply Officer Hidemasa Nakamura, Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto attend a gathering with IOC President Thomas Bach on the Tokyo 2020 Headquarters on July 13, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Picture : Takashi Aoyama/Getty Photographs)

The chief govt officer of the Tokyo Olympics’ organizing committee is just not ruling out the likelihood that the Summer time Video games might nonetheless be canceled if COVID-19 instances proceed to extend, elevating fears amongst members of the huge occasion set to begin in a matter of days.

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto made the stunning assertion on Tuesday as extra COVID-19 instances had been reported amongst Olympic athletes. Muto reiterated that Tokyo officers would make choices concerning the viability of the Olympic Video games based mostly on what occurs, saying, “We will not predict what is going to occur with the variety of coronavirus instances. So we are going to proceed discussions if there’s a spike in instances.”

COVID-19 instances rise on the Olympic Village

Muto maintained that every one choices stay on the desk forward of the beginning of the Olympics. “We have now agreed that based mostly on the coronavirus state of affairs, we are going to convene five-party talks once more.” Muto added that “the coronavirus instances could rise or fall, so we are going to take into consideration what we must always do when the state of affairs arises.”

Muto’s remarks are a far cry from the assured statements expressed by Worldwide Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach days prior concerning the state of the Summer time Video games. Bach stated final week that there was “zero” danger that Olympic athletes would possibly transmit the virus to one another through the Video games or to Tokyo residents.

Lots has transpired since Bach made that assertion, and it isn’t nice information for Tokyo 2020 organizers. Not less than 67 instances of COVID-19 infections in Japan have been recorded amongst these accredited for the Tokyo Olympics since July 1, as many athletes and officers began arriving for the Video games, organizers stated Tuesday. Amongst these contaminated had been 5 athletes and 5 journalists, alongside 17 workers members and 36 contractors.

That determine is regarding for Japan which has recorded greater than 840,000 instances and 15,055 deaths for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic began. The host metropolis of Tokyo has been experiencing a recent surge as properly, with 1,387 instances recorded on Tuesday.

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Assist for Olympics dropping in host nation forward of Video games

Assist for the Tokyo Olympics has waned among the many Japanese inhabitants, with a latest Asahi newspaper ballot exhibiting 68 p.c of respondents expressing doubt concerning the skill of Olympic organizers to manage coronavirus infections and 55 p.c saying they had been against the Summer time Video games going forward.

That sentiment is just not misplaced on Muto in addition to fellow organizing committee president Seiko Hashimoto. They’ve been cautious with their phrases, providing numerous apologies to a Japanese public that may be very a lot involved with the Olympics being a superspreader occasion.

“I actually need to apologize from my coronary heart for the buildup of frustrations and issues that the general public has been feeling in direction of the Olympics,” Hashimoto stated in her press convention on Tuesday.

Japanese sponsors of the Olympic Video games appeared to have bowed to public strain, with Panasonic Corp., Fujitsu Ltd., and NEC Corp skipping Friday’s opening ceremony. Toyota Motor Corp. had additionally dropped all its tv advertisements linked to the Video games beginning final Monday.


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