As Japan settles into weather the COVID-19 storm, the chief executive of the Tokyo Games on Friday hinted that the Olympics might not take place in 2021, even after the postponement.
“I don’t think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not,” Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto in an interpreted statement at a news conference on Friday. ”We’re certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer.”
“We have made the decision to postpone the games by one year. So this means that all we can do is work hard to prepare for the games. We sincerely hope that come next year mankind will manage to overcome the coronavirus crisis,” Muto added.
The games, which were originally planned for Tokyo starting in July, were postponed last month with a new opening date set for July 23, 2021, as the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic became clear.
So far, Japan has reported about 5,500 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 99 deaths, but with the world’s oldest population, it may be particularly at risk from the virus, which can be particularly serious for the elderly.