July 20, (THEWILL) – With only three days before the opening ceremony of the XXXII Summer Olympics, the possibility of having the entire sports Games cancelled amid a recent spread of COVID-19 among some of the athletes remains an option.
At a Tuesday Press Conference, Toshiro Muto, the head of the Tokyo Olympics Organising Committee, told this to reporters, making it clear that a late cancellation cannot be ruled out completely even at such an advanced stage.
Muto said: “We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases. We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again.
“At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”
Daily COVID-19 test results show an increase of positive cases even within the athletes already present in the Olympic Village, which has the potential of creating panic and inflating worry in the minds of athletes concerned with their health.
Without accounting for cases of test figure numbers from Monday due to a 24-hour lag in reporting infection numbers, the total number recorded in the period from the start of this month alone, around the Games, stands at about 60, according to organisers.
An outright cancellation will come at great cost given all that has been put into getting this far especially with countries organising qualifiers for their athletes and flying in about 11,000 of their contingent to Tokyo.
It will set the organisers, sponsors and participating countries back a lot more than the $2.8bn it cost when the Games were postponed from last year. However, it will be a thoughtful consideration and will satisfy the medical corps of Japan and the majority of the population who have asked that the Games be scrapped rather than risked in the middle of a pandemic.