Covid warning: Fourth wave strikes Japan sparking fears for 2021 Olympic Games

Olympics: Tokyo torch relay gets underway in March

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Officials in Japan have put plans to welcome international athletes to Japanese training camps under review, according to Jiji Press agency. The different municipalities are said to be assessing whether it is safe for sportspeople from foreign countries to attend their facilities.

Kurihara City, in the Miyagi prefecture, has already cancelled plans to host the South African men’s hockey team.

Japan has registered 4,802 new cases on Saturday, prompting experts to assert the country is experiencing its “fourth wave”.

Tokyo has reported 759 new Covid-19 infections, its highest figure since late-January.

On April 12, the city was placed under new preventative measures, including the closure of all hospitality businesses.

It comes after Japan’s Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai warned that there was possibility the Olympic Games would have to be cancelled over coronavirus fears.

A surge in cases of the UK variant of the virus was purportedly a reason for growing concern.

The latest testing data has cast major doubts over whether the event will get underway as scheduled on July 23.

Addressing the potential move last Thursday, Mr Nikai said: “If it is impossible, then it should be called off.

“What is the point of the Olympics if it is responsible for spreading infections?

“We will have to make a decision at that point.”

However, he stressed Japan would do everything in their power to try to stick to the proposed dates.

Mr Nikai said: “It is important for Japan to have a successful Olympics.

“It is a big opportunity. I want to make it a success.

“We will have many issues to resolve and prepare, and it is important to take care of them one by one.”

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