Tokyo Olympics: WHO to discuss Olympics COVID-19 risks with Japan & IOC

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that it would discuss managing COVID-19 risks with Japanese authorities and International Olympic Committee (IOC) after organisers announced some spectators would be permitted to attend the Tokyo Games. The head of the WHO emergencies programme Mike Ryan had noted that infection rates in Japan have been falling and said they compared favourably to other countries that were hosting large scale events.

Olympic organisers announced on Monday that the spectators limit is up to 10,000 in Tokyo 2020 venues. This decision had cut against the recommendation of some medical experts who said organising the event without fans was the least risky option. Ryan informed the Geneva news conference, “What we are glad of is that the rates of disease have drowned persistently and consistently in Japan one the last number of weeks. We’re aware of that decision today and we are following up with the IOC and with Japanese authorities.”

He further said, “We’ll be having another call with them and their task force this week to consider this new decision regarding attendance at the Olympics.” Lastly, he said, “I think it is important to note that the incidence rates in Japan have fallen consistently over the last number of weeks and compare favourably with the transmission of disease in many other countries who are currently hosting major events.”

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