Olympics will happen 'however coronavirus evolves': Tokyo 2020 chief

The pandemic-postponed Olympics will go ahead this summer "however the coronavirus evolves", Tokyo 2020 president Yoshiro Mori said Tuesday, brushing aside doubts about the event.

"We'll certainly go ahead however the coronavirus (pandemic) evolves," he told a meeting of Olympic organisers and members of Japan's ruling party in Tokyo.

"We must transcend discussion about whether we will hold it or not. It's about how we'll do it. Let's think about a new kind of Olympics on this occasion," he added.

The comments accompany organisers and officialdom insisting the Games are often held safely despite surging Covid-19 infections round the world, including in Japan.

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is predicted to announce a month-long extension of an epidemic state of emergency later Tuesday -- meaning the measure will run until March 7 in Tokyo and a number of other other parts of the country.

Tighter border restrictions imposed after infections surged have already forced the postponement of some sporting fixtures including this year's first Olympic test event, an inventive swimming qualifier that was scheduled for March.

The nationwide Olympic torch relay remains thanks to begin on Annunciation.

On Wednesday, organisers are expected to stipulate further details of the extensive coronavirus countermeasures they need devised for the 2020 Games, which were pushed back to 2021 last March because the virus spread round the globe.

But popular opinion appears against holding the Games this year, with 80 percent of Japanese people asked during a January survey backing either further postponement or a cancellation.

Organisers have said neither of these options are on the table, and have received strong support from both the International Olympic Committee and athletes round the world.

Dr. Dhillon Randeep

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