Tokyo: Tokyo has no Plan B for the 2020 Summer Olympics despite alarm over the spread of the Covid 19 coronavirus in Japan and elsewhere with under five months before the event, a senior official said on Friday.
“There will not be one bit of change in holding the Games as planned,” said Katsura Enyo, deputy director general of the Tokyo 2020 Preparation Bureau at the city government.
Having prepared for years and invested some $12 billion, Japan is eager to quell fears that the Games might be called off, postponed or moved to a different location due to the virus.
Though cases of Covid 19 have declined in China where it originated, the flu-like disease is moving fast around the world, including more than 200 cases and five deaths in Japan.
International Olympic Committee (IOC) president and former fencing champion Thomas Bach bolstered Tokyo’s stance on Thursday, saying his organization was “fully committed” to holding the Olympics on schedule.
In a telephone interview, Enyo said organizers were “facing up to” the coronavirus - but it would not derail the event, set to happen during July 24-Aug 9. “We are not even thinking of when or in what contingency we might decide things. There is no thought of change at all in my mind,” she said.
Enyo has also denied rumours regarding postponing the Games for six months to a year.
Japan is, however, considering scaling back the Olympic torch relay due to the coronavirus threat....