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Hashimoto: “No spectators” Tokyo Olympics are still possible

The chairman of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games said on Friday that “games without spectators” remains an option for the Tokyo Olympics to officially open in just four weeks.

Seiko Hashimoto will be admitted only four days after announcing on Monday that up to 10,000 local fans will be able to enter the venue. No more than 50% of the venue’s capacity, regardless of whether it’s an indoor or outdoor event.

The organizers postponed the decision of local fans for several months, and foreign fans were banned months ago. The move to allow fans opposed many medical professionals who said that the absence of fans would be the safest Olympics because of the coronavirus.

“When we investigate things, we feel that watching games should not continue to be our option,” Hashimoto said at a press conference. “The situation is changing from time to time, so we need to be flexible and quick to respond. Games without spectators are one of our options.”

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Organizers seemed to have slightly retreated fans after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s COVID-19 panel reported Thursday that there were “signs of a resurgence” of the infection in Tokyo.

The panel said last week that infections increased by 11% based on a 7-day average, and more infectious delta mutation cases were detected. Organizers say they will review their fans again after the current “quasi-emergency” ends on July 11.

Olympic Minister Tamayo Marukawa made another wake-up call on Friday, confirming that members of the Ugandan team, who were positive for coronavirus when they arrived in Japan last week, were infected with the delta variant.

Despite extensive pre- and admission testing, such cases include 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes, as well as tens of thousands of staff, coaches, judges, IOCs and sports federation officials. It seems to happen whenever it is added.

Coach Uganda members were reportedly quarantined last Saturday after being detected positive at Narita Airport near Tokyo. However, Japanese officials have allowed the remaining nine teams to travel more than 500 km (300 miles) by chartered bus to a pre-match camp in Izumisano, western Osaka.

Eight members of the team are quarantining at the hotel there. The second team member tested positive on Wednesday, but it’s unclear if the case is related to the delta variant.

“The Olympic Organizing Committee is very interested in learning more from this (Uganda) example,” Hashimoto said. “We will take great care to get as much information as possible from this experience,” he refined the operation accordingly.

“Not everything is 100%. We will create bubbles that are as close to 100% as possible,” she added.

The Imperial Household Agency said Thursday that Emperor Akihito was “extremely worried” about the health risks of the Olympics. It was a rare move for ceremonial figures moving away from politics.

He has no obligation to talk about the Olympics, and the fact that he did is more important than he said.

Mr. Hashimoto was asked at least three times about the emperor’s comments, but did not mention his name and gave a vague response.

“We need to get rid of anxieties and concerns from all Japanese,” she said. “We really need to ensure the safe and secure operation of the game, so we need to work harder to do that.”

The IOC is driving the Olympics, with almost 75% of its revenue coming from the sale of broadcast rights. It is estimated that there are between $ 3 billion and $ 4 billion in broadcasting funding in Tokyo.

The official cost of the Olympics is $ 15.4 billion, but according to some government audits, it’s much higher. All but $ 6.7 billion are publicly funded. The IOC has donated about $ 1.5 billion.

Japan reported about 780,000 cases of coronavirus and attributed about 14,500 deaths to COVID-19. As the government strengthens vaccinations, about 9% of Japanese are fully vaccinated.

Hashimoto: “No spectators” Tokyo Olympics are still possible

Source link Hashimoto: “No spectators” Tokyo Olympics are still possible

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