There won’t be any further postponement of Tokyo Olympics if coronavirus isn’t brought under control by next year, the Games president Yoshiro Mori has said. Also Read - Coronavirus in Noida: 27 Fresh Cases Reported in a Day, Total Active Cases Now 209; 4-Year-Old Recovers
Tokyo 2020 have already been delayed by a year following widespread pressure from athletes and national federations in the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic that has left over 2,00,000 dead worldwide. Also Read - COVID-19: Six-fold Jump in Cases, Five-fold Surge in Fatalities After a Month: Is Worst Yet to Come For India?
When asked if there’s a possibility of Tokyo Olympics being postponed any further should the need arise, Mori replied, “No. In that case, it’s cancelled.” Also Read - No Shortage of Beds in Delhi, Clarifies Health Minister; 1,330 Fresh COVID-19 Cases in 24 Hrs, Total Tally Over 26,000
Questions are being raised whether postponement by a year would be enough to hold an event of such magnitude which draws participants and fans from across the globe.
The head of Japan Medical Association Yoshitake Yokokura has already said that while it’s not impossible to hold the quadrennial showpiece event next year, it will be an “exceedingly difficult” task unless a vaccine has been developed.
“Unless an effective vaccine is developed I think it will be difficult to hold the Olympics next year,” Yokokura told reporters in Tokyo on Tuesday. “I’m not saying at this point that they shouldn’t be held. The outbreak is not only confined to Japan … it’s a worldwide issue.”
Yokokura isn’t alone in his pessimism. Kentaro Iwata, a specialist in infectious diseases, is also unsure whether Olympics will be held in 2021.
“To be honest with you, I don’t think the Olympics is likely to be held next year,” Iwata, a professor at Kobe University, said. “Holding the Olympics needs two conditions; one, controlling Covid-19 in Japan, and controlling Covid-19 everywhere.”
Meanwhile, Mori has expressed hopes that the Olympics will be held “in peace next summer” and added, “Mankind is betting on it.”