The Tokyo Olympics, postponed to summer 2021, could take place in the presence of a “limited number of spectators” due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizing committee director Toshiro Muto told the BBC. “The whole world should focus on running the event next year, we are on the same wavelength” with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its president Thomas Bach, Muto said for the first time, about Games scheduled from 23 July to 8 August 2021.
According to Muto, the president of the IOC “does not want” the Olympics to take place behind closed doors, but “could consider a limited number of spectators taking full account of the social distancing” to avoid any spread of Covid-19. “We need to build an environment in which the public feels safe. Athletes like IOC members could be tested before and after arriving in Japan,” he said. For Muto, it is “too optimistic to assume that all restrictions (in effect in Japan) will be lifted” next summer.
As for the discovery of a proven vaccine, Muto said it would be “an advantage (but) not a prerequisite” for the Games. So far Japan has had a relatively small outbreak of coronavirus, with 1,001 deaths and 31,900 cases, but the outbreaks are increasing, especially in the capital Tokyo. (ANSA-AFP).