Could the Tokyo Olympics still be cancelled amid COVID surge?

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If you’re surprised the Olympic Games in Tokyo are still kicking off as scheduled, well, there’s still a chance they might not happen.

Per ESPN, the organizing committee chief for Tokyo 2020 said in a news conference Tuesday that the option to scrap the Games due to the rise in COVID-19 cases is still very much on the table.

“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.

“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.”

Saying that “cases may rise” at this point is almost redundant, given Tokyo already recorded 1,387 cases Tuesday. 

Cases in Japan continue to rise in the midst of a state of emergency that is banning spectators from attending the Games. There have been 67 cases since July 1 that are tied to the Games, with two new cases among athletes popping up just this weekend. 

The continued rise in positive tests has pushed major sponsors for the Games to back out of the opening ceremonies on Friday, ESPN said.

Muto’s comments about potentially canceling the Games come just a couple of days after Olympic chief Thomas Bach commented that the Games are completely safe and then urged residents in Japan to welcome the Olympic athletes with open arms.

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