Organisers say Tokyo Olympics will go ahead despite COVID-19 surge

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 22 January 2021

Organisers for the Tokyo Olympic Games are adamant the event will go ahead as planned this year, despite a recent COVID-19 outbreak.

Japan, which has managed the pandemic well compared to other countries, has been hit by a recent wave of infections. From January 3 to January 21, the country had 345,221 cases of COVID-19 and 4,743 deaths, according to the World Health Organisation.

The outbreak has raised concerns from medical experts that some hospitals could be close to collapse, and has resulted in a state of emergency being declared in several regions, including Tokyo.

Despite this, the International Olympics Committee president Thomas Bach has confirmed the games will go ahead on July 23 and that there is no Plan B.

"We have at this moment, no reason whatsoever to believe that the Olympic Games in Tokyo will not open on the 23rd of July in the Olympic stadium in Tokyo," Bach told Japanese media.

"This is why there is no Plan B and this is why we are fully committed to make these Games safe and successful.”

The games were originally postponed in March last year over safety concerns and travel bans.

Seven holds the broadcast rights for the Olympic Games, which it has had since 2014.

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