No spectators is ‘least risky’ option in Tokyo Olympics

No spectators is 'least risky' option
The Olympics, originally meant to happen last year, will open on 23 July. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times: Having no spectators at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics is the “least risky” option, Japanese medical experts have said.

They warned in a report that there was “a risk the movement of people” would spread coronavirus infections and “strain the [country’s] medical system”.

Foreign spectators have already been banned from the Tokyo Olympics, but other Japanese officials have indicated they want domestic fans to attend if possible.

The Olympics originally meant to happen last year but did not due to pandemic, will open on 23 July.

The report by the Japanese medical experts was issued on Friday.

Holding the Games without spectators was the “least risky” option and the desirable one, the report said.

The experts, However, also floated an option that Olympic venues could each hold up to 10,000 spectators.

Seiko Hashimoto, the president of Japan’s Olympic organising committee, agreed that a “no fans” approach would reduce infections.

But she also added that she would still explore ways to allow spectators.

The final decision about this is expected on Monday.

In a separate development on Friday, volunteers and officials working on the Games started receiving vaccinations.

Pfizer are providing enough doses for 40,000 people, in an effort separate to Japan’s national vaccination drive.

The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to go ahead despite a fresh wave of coronavirus infections in Japan in recent months.

A state of emergency in Japan’s capital Tokyo is set to be lifted on Sunday, but polls in local media suggest public scepticism to the Games going ahead remains high amid a slow vaccine roll-out.

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