Tokyo Olympics goes ahead despite COVID-19 surge – Organisers

Tokyo 2020 organisers say they will be ready to host the Olympic Games – despite the city declaring a state of emergency over COVID-19.

The rescheduled Games are set to take place between July 23 and August 8.

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said there was a “sense of crisis” as he announced emergency COVID-19 plans.

Organisers said, “This declaration of emergency offers an opportunity for Tokyo 2020 to plan for a safe and secure Games this summer.”

“We will proceed with the necessary preparations accordingly,” they added.

Tokyo recorded 2,447 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and the latest measures primarily target restaurants and bars, which will be asked to stop serving alcohol by 7pm local time and close an hour later.

Costs for the Games have increased by £2.1bn because of measures needed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

And a recent poll by national broadcaster NHK showed that the majority of the Japanese general public oppose holding the Games in 2021, favouring a further delay or outright cancellation of the event.

The International Olympic Committee said, “The IOC has full confidence in the Japanese authorities and the measures they are taking.

“Together with our Japanese partners, we continue to be fully concentrated and committed to the safe and successful delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 this summer.”

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