As COVID cases among Olympians pile up in Tokyo, and their biggest sponsor – Toyota – became the latest to bail on the event, Tokyo 2020 organizing committee chief, Toshiro Muto has not ruled out a last-minute cancellation of the Olympics, according to CNBC.
When asked at a news conference if the event may be canceled, Muto said he would keep an eye on infection counts and coordinate action with other organizers if necessary.
“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,” said Muto, adding “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.”
The Olympics were already postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and will now be held without spectators. Athletes, meanwhile, will compete in empty venues to minimize spread.
Earlier Tuesday we reported that the number of infected athletes and others associated with the games has hit 71, while new COVID-19 cases in Tokyo hit 1,410 on Saturday, the highest daily level in nearly six months as the Delta variant continues to spread. On Tuesday, 1,387 cases were recorded. Overall, Japan has seen over 840,000 cases and 15,055 deaths.