Tokyo Olympics to be called off? Host city faces TRIPLE health threat, several athletes pull out
As Games-related Covid cases continue to rise, a last-minute cancellation of the Games is not off the table, Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto said
With only 3 days left for the Summer Games to begin, Tokyo 2020 chief Toshiro Muto hinted that the Games could be 'called off' at the last minute as Tokyo faces a TRIPLE health threat. The Japanese government has already imposed a virus state of emergency in Tokyo until August 22. As Games-related Covid cases continue to rise, last-minute cancellation of the biggest sporting event of the year is not off the table, Muto said.
Toshiro Muto noted he was well prepared to discuss a last-minute cancellation if the situation demands and said, "We can't predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases." He added, "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." Also, after a few Games-related Covid cases surfaced, several athletes have already pulled out of Tokyo Olympics.
Muto released his statement just hours after IOC President Thomas Bach admitted he suffered ‘sleepless nights’ in the fear that the Games would not be able to take place, as Tokyo suffered another two health and safety body blows. The first was the discovery of raised levels of the potentially harmful E-coli bacteria in the Tokyo Bay waters because of the triathlon and open water swimming events. Even the local residents complained about the sewage smell. The situation could turn for the worse as there is a forecast for heavy rains next week.
Meanwhile, the Korean team chiefs demanded they be allowed to screen food from Fukushima Prefecture, where the 2011 nuclear disaster took place, over fears that it might have been contaminated by radioactive Caesium. Muto’s unexpected statement, which surfaced after Japanese PM Yoshihide Suga promised that they "can bring success to the delivery of the Games, " is yet another sign of the public backlash against the Games. A survey conducted last month showed that about 80 percent of Japanese are opposing the Games.
In other news, organizers last month revealed that about 10000 volunteers had quit the Games amid Covid fears, a sexism row and scheduling problems. Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto said that 10000 out of the 80000 volunteers, who were pivotal to the smooth running of the event, had quit over the Covid situation.