Tokyo Olympics 2020 Organising Committee President Yoshiro Mori has admitted that it won’t be possible to host the Games next year if the current situation around the coronavirus pandemic prevails in the Japanese capital.
Tokyo hit a new daily record of 293 cases last week, and the figures have stayed above 200 in recent days. With experts warning a rapid spread of the infection, the city’s Governor Yuriko Koike has asked residents to stay at home.
“If current situation continues, we couldn’t,” Mori said when asked if the Games can go ahead in the prevailing circumstances on Japanese news channel NHK.
Mori, however, also said that it is not appropriate for him to answer hypothetical questions at this point and he doesn’t believe that the situation will remain the same a year later.
Originally scheduled to be held from July 24 to August 9 this year, the Tokyo Olympics was postponed in an unprecedented move due to the outbreak of coronavirus in mid-March.
The Games are now scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8 in 2021, but a number of health experts have expressed doubts over whether the situation around the pandemic will be stable enough for the Games to go ahead.
Mori admitted that whether the Games will take place will depend upon the availability of a vaccine for Covid-19.
“Whether the Olympics can be held depends on whether humanity can beat the coronavirus,” Mori said, adding, “Specifically, to develop a vaccine or drug is the first point.”
The organisers have made it clear since the postponement that the Games won’t be postponed one more time.