Tokyo Olympics chief Toshiro Muto on Tuesday acknowledged that the marquee event could face a last-minute cancellation if the COVID crisis gets out of hand in Japan's capital. Over the past several weeks in the building up to the event, there have been several anti-Olympic protests, with several Japanese organizations protesting to cancel the Summer Games.
The head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee cautioned the public on Tuesday that a last-minute cancellation of the showpiece event could still take place. When asked at a news conference if the Summer Games could still be cancelled amid the rising COVID cases around the world, Toshiro Muto said they would require to keep an eye on the infection numbers and hold discussions with organizers before making any decision.
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Addressing a news conference, Muto said, "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." The tone of caution is something new as in the past few weeks, there has been defiant optimism despite the increasing pressure from Japanese locals to cancel Tokyo Olympics amid several athletes withdrawing from competitions.
As per reports, Japan has been warned that COVID infection rates could double by the end of the Games. 67 people have already tested positive for the virus. Moreover, as per ANI, two Mexican baseball players (Hector Velazquez and Sammy Solis) tested positive before departing for Tokyo. Velazquez and Solis tested positive on July 18 and have been quarantining with all the other team members since then.
On Monday, the Czech Republic's beach volleyball player Ondrej Perusic tested positive for COVID. Perusic is currently asymptomatic and in isolation. Furthermore, previously an official of the Czech Republic team tested positive for the virus after his arrival at the airport. Meanwhile, there have been few other positive cases just a few days before the Olympics begin.