Tokyo Olympics: Two-thirds of people in Japan do not believe the country can host a safe and secure Olympics amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey published by the Asahi newspaper just four days before the opening ceremony in Tokyo.
In the poll, 68% of respondents expressed doubt about the ability of Olympic organizers to control coronavirus infections, with 55% saying they were opposed to the Games going ahead.
Three-quarters of the 1,444 people in the telephone survey said they agreed with a decision to ban spectators from events.
As COVID-19 infections rise in Tokyo, forcing the government into the fourth state of emergency, public concern has grown about hosting an event that is bringing tens of thousands of overseas athletes, officials, and journalists, into Japan’s capital.
Games officials on Sunday reported the first COVID-19 case among competitors in the athletes’ village in Tokyo, bringing the total number of cases connected to the Olympics to at least 10.
International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach has said he hopes the Japanese public will warm to the Games once competition begins and as Japanese athletes begin winning medals.
Tokyo Olympics: In total, organizers on Sunday reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics including media, contractors, and other personnel. That compares with 15 new cases on Saturday.
Two South African soccer players are the first athletes inside the Olympic Village to test positive for COVID-19.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) July 18, 2021
POSITIVE Cases on Sunday
- 3 South African Footballers tests positive, entire team quarantine in the village
- 1 Czech Republic Athlete tests positive
- 6 Foreign nationals, IOC Officials, Media personnel test positive at the airport
Speaking on Sunday, Games chief Seiko Hashimoto said: “Athletes who are coming to Japan are probably very worried. I understand that.
“We are doing everything to prevent any Covid outbreaks. If we end up with an outbreak we will make sure we have a plan in place to respond.”