Olympics next year will be cancelled if coronavirus pandemic is not over: Games chief Yoshiro Mori
The Tokyo Olympics, which was scheduled initially to take place this year, was postponed to next year not long back due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Now, the Games Chief Yoshiro Mori has issued a statement saying the Tokyo Olympics will be "scrapped" next year as well in case the coronavirus pandemic does not come to an end. Scheduled to take place between July 23 to August 8, 2021, Mr. Mori said the Games will not be moved to 2022, but was confident it would take place next year. He said, "This Olympics would be much more valuable than any Olympics in the past if we could go ahead with it after winning this battle. We have to believe this, otherwise our hard work and efforts will not be rewarded."
With a vaccine or any effective drugs yet to be found, medical officials and health experts have raised doubts on whether the Games would be held next year in Tokyo. Yoshitake Yokokura, the President of Japan's Medical Association, said on Tuesday that organizing the Olympics without an effective vaccine or drug to combat COVID-19 would be quite difficult. "I am not saying that Japan should or shouldn't host the Olympics, but that it would be difficult to do so. If the infections are under control in Japan, it will still be difficult to hold the games unless the pandemic is over in the rest of the world.", Yokokura stated. Although a majority of health experts have pointed out that a vaccine to COVID-19 will be available by mid-2021, some others are wary saying there is no assurance it will be developed successfully.
Yoshiro Mori also spoke about the Paralympics scheduled from August 24 to September 5, 2021 and said it could share the opening and closing ceremonies as a cost-cutting procedure. "Given that the situation has dramatically changed, we have to review key areas, including the ceremonies. It's going to a considerable cut in costs and a big message of victory against the global crisis - but it's not easy." That said, Mori said he is yet to discuss with the International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee on whether they would approve for such a move considering tickets for the opening and closing ceremonies have already been sold out.
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