Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto isn’t ruling out a last minute cancellation of the Olympic Games amid rising Covid-19 cases.Tokyo reported 1,387 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the city’s second-highest daily increase of new cases since January 21, according to Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s website.And as athletes have started to arrive ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday, the number of cases in Japan linked to the Games is now over 70, according to organizers.
“We cannot predict what the epidemic will look like in the future. So as for what to do should there be any surge of positive cases, we’ll discuss accordingly if that happens,” Muto said during a press conference held in Tokyo on Tuesday.
“During the last five-party talk, it was clearly stated we’ll continue to monitor the coronavirus situation, and a five-party talk will be held if necessary.”The five parties are the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Japan government, the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the International Paralympic Committee.”At this stage, the coronavirus situation might get worse or better, so we will think about what to do when the situation actually arises,” added Muto.The capital is under a coronavirus state of emergency, which is set to expire on August 22, and organizers announced this month that the Tokyo venues will not have spectators as a result.Just three days before the sporting spectacle is set to begin, Tokyo public health expert Dr. Kenji Shibuya said the Olympic bubble system “is kind of broken.””Visitors, athletes, journalists, delegates, of course they are supposed to be within the bubble, but it’s not working well,” Shibuya said in an interview with Reuters on Tuesday.”It’s obvious that the bubble system is kind of broken, so there seems to be some sort of interaction between guests and visitors and also local people.”The International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Tokyo 2020 organizers did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.Tokyo 2020 will host about 11,000 athletes — representing more than 200 countries — and they will be staying in 21 residential buildings.However, not all of these athletes will be in Tokyo for the whole duration of the Games. Organizers say athletes will be expected to arrive in the Olympic Village five days prior to their competition, and depart a maximum of two days after.READ: Why we’re still seeing Covid-19 cases among top athletes