Olympics under fresh scrutiny...


Olympics under fresh scrutiny as Tokyo enters state of emergency

Phil Egan
Phil Egan

11:47 7 Jan 2021

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The staging of the rescheduled Olympics will continue to be under the spotlight after the declaration that Tokyo will go into a state of emergency due to COVID 19.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has declared a state of emergency in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba in order to contain the increased spread of the coronavirus.

The restrictions will come into effect on Friday and remain in place until at least February 7th.

Those restrictions will only be lifted next month if there is a significant reduction in certain benchmarks such as hospital occupancy rates and positivity rates.

Japan has reported a total of 258,393 cases but deaths from the virus have doubled in less than two months, passing 3,700, while Tokyo reported 2,447 cases on Thursday, a daily record.

The prime minister said on Christmas Day that a state of emergency was not required but case numbers continue to rise, which in turn has seen hospital beds rapidly fill up to as much as 88% in the Japanese capital.

It has to be a major concern for organisers of the Olympics, which are due to get underway on July 23rd, one year on from the original date.

The Guardian is reporting that the International Olympic Committee is working on ways to get athletes vaccinated so the Tokyo Games can go ahead safely in July but they accept athletes would not receive the jab ahead of key workers and the most vulnerable.

IOC president Thomas Bach has previously stated it would be a good idea for athletes to get the COVID-19 vaccination before the Olympics but also insisted it would not be an entry requirement.

11,000 athletes are due to compete in the Japanese capital in July and August, while qualifying for several events is yet to be completed.

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Covid-19 International Olympic Committee Japan Oympics Tokyo

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