- Japan’s state of emergency statement, planned to last until the Summer Olympics, prompted a decision to ban spectators from participating in the event.
- Tokyo is one of the areas where COVID-19 cases have increased in the two weeks before the July 23 Olympics. On Thursday, the capital reported 896 new cases.
- Some athletes who arrived in Japan for training before the Olympics tested positive for the virus, prompting the entire national delegation to be quarantined.
Since the Summer Olympics will start in two weeks, the organizers announced that there will be no spectators in most events, but those held outside Tokyo may still be open to fans.
A few hours after Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga put the Kanto region including Tokyo in a state of emergency, the Olympic Minister Marukawa Tamashiro announced the news about the audience on Thursday. It takes effect on Monday and will last until August 22 after the Tokyo Olympics.
The Tokyo Paralympic Games is scheduled to open on August 24.
The latest state of emergency is the fourth state of emergency issued to the capital since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In recent days, the number of new COVID-19 cases in Japan has steadily increased. Tokyo reported 896 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, up from 673 cases a week ago. Thursday was the 19th consecutive day that the number of cases exceeded the number set a week ago.
Yoshihide Suga said on Thursday: “The number of severe cases and bed occupancy rates continue to be at a low level, but considering the impact of mutation, we need to strengthen response measures to prevent the infection from spreading across the country.”
Organizers said the decision to ban fans from participating in the game is a safety issue as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the capital.
“The first priority is to determine a safe and reliable Olympic Games,” said Seiko Hashimoto, president of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in a press conference after meetings with officials from the Tokyo and Japanese governments, the International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee.
She added: “We hope that the stadium is full, so that people in the community can participate in welcoming athletes, so that we can fully demonstrate the power of sports.” “But now, in the face of COVID-19, we have no choice but to use Limited ways to host the Olympics.”
Foreign fans were banned in March. On June 21st, the organizers stated that the Olympic venues will limit the number of spectators, with a maximum capacity of 50% and a maximum capacity of 10,000 fans.
Two members of the Uganda Olympic team and a member of the Serbian team tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan.
Of the 80,000 people who volunteered to participate in the Olympics, at least 10,000 withdrew, mainly due to pandemic fears.
This is a breaking news story, additional information will be updated below.