Postponement of Tokyo Olympics still possible

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FILE PHOTO: A man wears a protective mask amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in front of the giant Olympic rings in Tokyo, Japan, January 13, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

The head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee has not ruled out last-minute cancellation of the Games over rising cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

“We cannot speculate,” how infections will spread, Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto said through a translator at a news conference, adding that if cases spread, “we have to fully consult,” leaving open potential for cancellation of the Games, which are slated to open on Friday.

Muto added that at five-party talks held recently, officials said they will continue to monitor the situation and will host another meeting if required. The five-party talks include the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan Governments, the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee, and government of Japan.

“The infection may spread, or the infection may be brought under better control,” Muto said. “When we see a concrete situation going forward, then we will consider the matter.”

As of Tuesday, officials have listed 79 people in Tokyo associated with the Summer Olympics who have tested positive for Covid-19 since July 1, including contractors, personnel, media and athletes.

The Olympics have already been postponed from last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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