Sports

Health experts in Japan warn of Tokyo Olympic COVID-19 threat, prefer no spectators

TOKYO: Japan’s top medical experts warned on Friday that holding the Olympics during the COVID-19 pandemic could increase infections, and said banning all spectators was the least risky option, setting up a possible collision with organisers.

The report, led by top health adviser Shigeru Omi, was released after Tokyo 2020’s organising committee chief told the Sankei newspaper she wanted to allow up to 10,000 spectators at stadiums for the global sport extravaganza, which kicks off on July 23. Japan is pushing ahead with hosting the multi-billion-dollar delayed Games despite worries about another surge in COVID-19 infections and strong public opposition, although organisers have banned spectators from overseas.

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