Why Olympics events in Tokyo will have no fans
Japan on Thursday declared a fourth state of emergency for Tokyo that will run through its hosting of the Olympics to try to staunch a new wave of coronavirus infections.
The state of emergency will take effect on July 12, 2021 and last till August 22, 2021 Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said at a government meeting.
Officials decided this week that there would be almost no actual running during its two-week perambulation through Tokyo and its suburbs, replacing the marathon with a series of ceremonies that would be closed to the public.
The emergency comes after virus cases in Tokyo shoot high to 920 the previous day — the highest since May 13.
It has been confirmed that daily infections have been on the rise since the city ended its third state of emergency on June 20, while only about 15 percent of Japan’s population is fully vaccinated.
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A state of emergency is unlikely to trigger the cancellation of the Olympics, set to run from July 23, 2021 to August 8, 2021 with officials from the organizing committee having said previously that they’re prepared to hold events without spectators if necessary.
Medical experts have said for weeks that having no spectators at the Games would be the least risky option amid widespread public concern that the influx of thousands of athletes and officials will fuel a fresh wave of infections.
Organisers have already banned overseas spectators and have for now set a cap on domestic viewers at 50 percent of capacity, up to 10,000 people.
Anyone wanting to support athletes has been told to do so by clapping rather than cheering or singing. Public viewing sites have been cancelled and companies, wary of public opposition, have been hesitant about advertising related to the Games, adding to a subdued mood in the Japanese capital