Tokyo: The Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto has not ruled out the possibility of cancellation of the Games after several athletes have contracted COVID-19 inside the Village. Muto stated the numbers will be monitored and discussions will be in place if necessary.
“We will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” said Muto. “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.”
While, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) official became the first victim of COVID at the Village, two South African men’s footballers were the first athletes to catch COVID. The Tokyo Olympics was originally scheduled to happen in 2020 but got postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic globally.
As many as 67 COVID-19 infections have been reported in Japan among those accredited for the Games since July 1, when many athletes and officials started arriving. Japan has recorded more than 840,000 cases and 15,055 deaths and Games host city Tokyo is experiencing a fresh surge, with 1,387 cases recorded on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, IOC president Thomas Bach promised to keep the Games ‘safe and secure’, stating cancellation of the Tokyo Olympics was never an option. However, the first challenge would be in the men’s football event, when Japan face South Africa, already hit by COVID-19. That match is due to take place on Thursday, a day before an opening ceremony.
Two members – Hector Velazquez and Sammy Solis – of Mexico’s baseball team tested positive for COVID-19 at the team hotel before their departure for Tokyo and have been isolated. The team members are awaiting the results of more tests.