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Tokyo 2020 chief Muto does not rule out 11th-hour cancellation of Games
Toshiro Muto said he would keep an eye on infection numbers and hold discussions with organizers if necessary.
The head of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee did not rule out a last-minute cancellation of the global sporting showpiece, which starts on Friday.
Asked at a news conference on Tuesday if the Games might still be cancelled amid rising COVID-19 cases, Toshiro Muto said he would keep an eye on infection numbers and hold discussions with organizers if necessary.
The coronavirus pandemic has put on hold several worldwide events, postponing the EURO championship, the Eurovision song contest, and the Olympic games.
Thousands of athletes have been flooding into the designated athlete's village in Tokyo over the past several days, intending to minimize their time at the site and their exposure to other contesters. However, despite all the meticulous preparations, games officials on Sunday reported the first COVID-19 case among competitors in the athletes' village.
Since then, 67 positive cases have been detected among those accredited for the competition, organizers said on Tuesday. Two days earlier, the first cases were reported from within the athlete village itself. On Tuesday, Czech beach volleyball trainer Simon Nausch becoming the third member of the Czech delegation to be confirmed with the virus.
In Tokyo at large, 1,410 new cases were found on Saturday, the highest number in several months. Tokyo is joining several other regions experiencing an upsurge in cases, including Israel, which saw a similar number of positive tests on Monday.
A delegation of 90 athletes from Israel, an all time record, are currently at Tokyo prepared to compete in the upcoming games.