Health Experts Propose No Spectators for Tokyo Games

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Tokyo, June 18 (Jiji Press)--Japanese health experts Friday proposed that this summer's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics be held without spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Holding the Tokyo Games without spectators is preferable as that has the lowest possible risk of spreading the coronavirus," said the experts, including Shigeru Omi, chairman of the government's COVID-19 advisory panel.

Expressing concerns over a possible resurgence in infections due to an increase in flows of people, the 26 experts said that if the events are held with spectators, stricter criteria than those required currently for large-scale events should be introduced.

"With flows of people increasing, various indicators suggest a future spread of the coronavirus," Omi told a press conference. "As an expert, I think there is risk in holding the Tokyo Games," he said.

The government should impose strict restrictions, including declaring a state of emergency, if the virus spreads during the games, Omi said. "Fully recognizing the risks, I want measures to be taken without hesitation before the situation becomes severe," he said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press