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Monday, 25 January 2021

Tokyo has no 'Plan B' for Games despite coronavirus

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Tokyo has no 'Plan B' for Games despite coronavirus
Tokyo has no 'Plan B' for Games despite coronavirus

Organizers of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo have reiterated they are pushing ahead as planned despite fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

Speaking on Friday, officials said there are currently no other plans being considered.

Adam Reed reports.

Tokyo has no Plan B for this year's Summer Olympics despite alarm over the spread of the coronavirus in Japan and elsewhere with less than five months before the event.

A senior official of the Tokyo 2020 organizing committee told Reuters on Friday (February 28) that "There will not be one bit of change in holding the Games as planned," Preparations have been going on for the best part of a decade and with around $12 billion dollars of investment, Japan is eager to quell fears the Games might be called off, postponed or moved to a different location due to the virus.

Though on the decline in China where it originated, the flu-like disease is moving fast around the world, including more than 200 cases and five deaths in Japan.

The man potentially with the final say on the matter is International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach, who bolstered Tokyo's stance on Thursday, saying his organization was "fully committed" to holding the Olympics on schedule.

In a telephone interview, the Games delivery team said they were quote "facing up to" the coronavirus - but it would not derail the three-week event starting in late July.

Some Japanese media had reported on a six-month postponement being considered, but that's also been denied by organizers, adding that preparations were on track.

Japan is, however, considering scaling back the Olympic torch relay due to the coronavirus threat.

And in its latest statement on the issue, the IOC said preparations for Tokyo 2020 "continue as planned" and it had "full confidence" in authorities to take all necessary measures.

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