Host cities for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics have expressed concern over the continued COVID-19 pandemic, with communities throughout the nation that had been anticipating to welcome overseas groups for coaching camps forward of the Video games left in limbo.
Considered one of these is the north-eastern metropolis of Aizuwakamatsu within the Fukushima prefecture, which was set to host the nationwide boxing crew of Thailand for roughly two weeks earlier than the beginning of the Video games.
Metropolis officers at the moment are involved over whether or not or not it will likely be protected to take action, and with the Worldwide Olympic Committee beforehand suggesting athletes ought to restrict their stays in Japan, Aizuwakamatsu and different host cities could miss out on internet hosting Olympians and creating cross-border relationships.
“Initially, will the athletes truly come to our metropolis?” stated Yoshikatsu Suzuki, an Aizuwakamatsu official in command of the programme, is reported as saying by Kyodo Information.
“How ought to we put together our medical system?
“The virus is our largest concern, particularly what we must always do if an athlete contracts it.
“There are such a lot of issues we have to contemplate.”
The town has reported simply 42 infections of COVID-19 as of December 26.
Tokyo 2020’s host cities initiative has greater than 500 municipalities throughout Japan enrolled to host athletes and help employees from round 180 international locations and territories competing on the Video games, per Kyodo Information.
Aizuwakamatsu authorities have been working with a Thai firm to construct a solar energy plant within the metropolis, and Aizuwakamatsu has additionally seen an growing variety of vacationers from Thailand go to in recent times.
The town has beforehand held coaching camps for the Thai boxing crew in 2018 and 2019 and deliberate to proceed this pattern in 2020 earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic postponed the Olympics and Paralympics to 2021.
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics at the moment are scheduled to run from July 23 to August eight in 2021.
Host cities have now been urged by the Japanese Authorities to implement strict COVID-19 preventative measures to guard athletes, and requested to take cultural exchanges on-line.
The Authorities will even financially help host cities in implementing anti-virus measures, with the Japan Sports activities Company is ready to allocate $125 million (£94 million/€103 million) to taking part areas, in keeping with Kyodo Information.
Some host cities are involved that they might not have sufficient officers or the infrastructure wanted to implement these measures, nevertheless.
As of as we speak, overseas travellers will not be permitted to enter Japan because it appears to be like to include the unfold of COVID-19 – particularly a brand new, faster-spreading variant of the virus which has been detected within the nation.
The ban of non-resident overseas arrivals is because of final till a minimum of the top of January.