Extending the state of emergency in Japan is likely to keep spectators away from the Olympics.


Extending the state of emergency in Japan is likely to keep spectators away from the Olympics.

Japan announced on Friday that the COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo and other places will be extended for another 20 days. Olympic organizers must decide by June 20 whether or not local fans will be allowed to attend the games. Spectators from other countries were already barred a month ago.

At a weekly conference, Tokyo Olympics Organizing Committee President Seiko Hashimoto stated, “We would prefer to make a decision as soon as possible [on fans], but until the state of emergency is abolished, we will assess.”

COVID-19 instances are still high, and hospital systems in numerous towns are overwhelmed, with the games slated to begin on July 23. Japan has a goal to make immunizations for sports a priority, but just 2.3 percent of the population has received all immunizations. Before allowing spectators, organizers should consider the potential impact on local medical services, according to Hashimoto.

“Many people believe that in order to compete in the Olympic Games, we must run without spectators, even though other sports allow spectators,” she remarked. “As a result, we must bear it in mind. We must ensure that local medical services are not harmed. Before we settle on a spectator count, we need to think about those things.”

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The current state of emergency in the capital and eight other metropolitan regions was supposed to end on Monday, but several hospitals are still overflowing with COVID-19 patients, and dangerous cases have lately reached new highs.

From Hokkaido in the north to Fukuoka in the south, the 20-day extension encompasses nine areas. A tenth location, Okinawa’s southern island prefecture, has already declared a state of emergency that will last until June 20.

The Olympics had a one-year postponement due to the pandemic, and worries about new variants and Japan’s slow vaccination rollout have triggered calls from the public, medical experts and even a sponsor to cancel the games. Experts have warned that the mutations are infecting more individuals, causing them to become very ill and causing hospitals to overflow.

Due to bureaucratic and planning blunders and shortages, Japan has fallen behind on vaccinations, and the current phase targeting older persons is not expected to be completed before the games begin.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Cabinet, however, are adamant about hosting the Olympics. The International Olympic Committee (IOC). This is a condensed version of the information.


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