Tokyo Olympics: Big setback; Japan declares state of emergency covering entire Olympics due to Covid-19- In a major blow to Olympic preparations, the Japanese government on Wednesday imposed a state of emergency to contain Covid-19 infections, 16 days before the Tokyo Games get underway. The state of emergency has been declared from July 7 to August 22, a period covering the entire duration of the Olympics.
The Tokyo Olympics, which were postponed last year, is scheduled to get underway from July 23 and run until August 8. The decision comes a day after Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said his government would decide on new measures to stop the spread of the virus.
“We are hoping to keep people from moving around during the summer break and the Bon holidays until vaccinations move further along,” Kyodo News quoted Yasutoshi Nishimura, the minister in charge of the nation’s COVID-19 response, as saying.
Tokyo Olympics: Big setback; Japan declares state of emergency covering entire Olympics due to Covid-19- Earlier, the organisers of the Tokyo Games were leaning towards cutting the number of spectators to a maximum of 5,000. As per Kyodo News, Japan Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Wednesday did not say whether the spectator capacity would be cut short and he said that it was an issue to be addressed by the five organizing bodies of the Summer Games, including the International Olympic Committee and the Tokyo metropolitan government.
On Wednesday, the Tokyo metropolitan government had reported 920 new virus cases, marking the highest daily figure since mid-May.
Tokyo Olympics will be held from July 23 to August 8 this year. The event was slated to go ahead last year, but it had to be postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee (IOC) chief Thomas Bach arrived in Tokyo on Thursday.