Will O'Callaghan
Will O'Callaghan

18.56 18 Jun 2021


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The organisers of the Tokyo Olympics have been advised to hold the event behind closed doors by Japan's top public health official.

Dr Shigeru Omi - the country's chief COVID-19 adviser - feels holding the Games without fans is "the best way to avoid expanding the risk of further infections".

His stance is at odds with the International Olympic Committee and the local organising committee, who favour having limited crowds when the Games get underway next month.

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“We believe the risks of infections inside venues would be lowest by holding the event with no fans,” Omi said at a press conference today after submitting a report.

“We believe it would be most desirable not to have fans inside venues. Regardless of holding the Olympics or not, Japan has continuing risks of a resurgence of the infections that puts pressure on the medical systems.”

A final decision on spectators will be made next week and Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the local organising committee, says they're considering a number of factors.

“Dr Omi has indicated that ideally the best way is to hold the games without spectators — that was his recommendation,” Hashimoto said.

“But if we are to hold the games with spectators, Dr Omi also had his recommendations.”


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