Japan Extends The COVID State Of Emergency Less Than Two Months Before Tokyo Olympics

The COVID-19 epidemic is showing no signs of abating less than two months before the Tokyo Olympics, prompting Japan to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and other places.

The decision to extend the restrictions, which were set to expire on May 31, until June 20, comes as the country has seen a record number of coronavirus patients in critical condition in recent days, putting pressure on hospitals even as the number of new cases has decreased.

From Hokkaido in the north to Fukuoka in the south, the 20-day extension encompasses nine locations in Japan.

The southern island prefecture of Okinawa, the tenth region, is already under emergency status until June 20.

After months of bans, Olympic organizers must decide around that time whether or not to allow any spectators to attend the Games.

Concerns about COVID-19 variations and a delayed vaccine rollout have spurred urgent requests from physicians, business leaders, and many members of the public to call off the Games, which were postponed for a year due to the epidemic and are set to begin on July 23.

A top Japanese doctor has even cautioned that this summer’s event, currently dubbed Tokyo 2020, might result in the establishment of an “Olympic” coronavirus variant.

lgnews-Tokyo-Olympics.jpg2According to polls, the majority of Japanese people want the tournament to be canceled or rescheduled. Only 2.3 percent of the population has been properly vaccinated, and the currently staged targeting of older persons is not expected to be completed in time for the Olympics.

In total, Japan has reported 730,000 instances of illness and almost 12,700 fatalities.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his cabinet, on the other hand, are adamant about hosting the Olympics.

The Prime Minister stated: “I am aware that many people are concerned about the Olympics and Paralympics being held in Rio de Janeiro. I take their concerns seriously, and I will continue to make plans for a safe and secure Games.”

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has also stated that the event will take place even if Tokyo is under emergency measures.

While foreign spectators will not be permitted, the event will be attended by 90,000 people, including athletes and their delegations.

IOC President Thomas Bach has stated that 80 percent of the 10,500 athletes expected in Japan will be vaccinated and has advised Olympians to receive their vaccinations as soon as possible.

Before and after their arrival, delegates must be tested.

Meanwhile, the president of the organizing committee has warned that even home supporters may be denied entry to venues.

“We would want to make a decision as quickly as feasible (on fans), but we will analyze when the state of emergency is abolished,” Seiko Hashimoto said.

lgnews-Tokyo-Olympics.jpg3“Many people believe that we must run without spectators for the Olympic Games, despite the fact that other sports tolerate spectators,” she noted.

“As a result, we must bear this in mind. We must ensure that local medical services are not harmed. Before we settle on a spectator count, we need to think about these aspects.”

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