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COVID-19: Tokyo Olympics may not hold in 2021



A JAPANESE professor of infectious disease, Kentaro Iwata of the Kobe University, has ast doubt on the postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics holding next summer.

  Professor Iwata said the Olympics Games will have many athletes from many countries which is not very compatible with this COVID-19 infection that is causing a pandemic.  He argued that Japan might be able to control this disease by next summer. And I wish we could. But I don’t think that will happen everywhere on earth.”

  “The Olympics needs two conditions; one, controlling COVID-19 in Japan, and controlling COVID-19 everywhere.” “To be honest with you,   I don’t think the Olympics is likely to be held next year next summer unless you hold the Olympic Games in a totally different structure such as no audience, or a very limited participation,” he said.

  Earlier this month, the chief executive of the Tokyo Olympics said he could not guarantee the Games would go on next summer even after they were postponed by a year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  Toshiro Muto, the CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee, expressed his own reservations 10 days ago. Since then, the organizing committee and the International Olympic Committee have said there is no “Plan B″ other than working for the Olympics to open on July 23, 2021.

  Japan was spared during the initial stage of the coronavirus outbreak. But cases are now spiking, particularly in Tokyo and other large cities. As of Monday, there were about 12,000 detected infections in Japan and about 250 deaths.

  Even though it was the second country after China to record a case of the coronavirus, Japan has been criticized for its response to the pandemic, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe not instituting a nationwide state of emergency until last week amid a sharp spike in positive tests. The country, which has seen about 11,000 confirmed infections and about 240 deaths as of Monday, has seen its medical facilities overburdened, with emergency rooms unable to treat people with other serious health conditions.

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