HIGHLIGHTS:

  • PM of Japan is facing enormous pressure to keep the Covid-19 outbreak under control
  • The public is worried that the global sports Olympic show could turn into a super-spreader event
  • The Covid-19 cases remain high in Tokyo and Osaka
  • Japanese govt is running one of the slowest vaccination programs in the developed world
  • The extension by Japan comes after the U.S. said that Americans should avoid traveling to Japan because of the virus

On Friday, PM of Japan, Yoshihide Suge declared the extension of the emergency situation in Tokyo and other parts of the country until June 20 to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak. This fuelled the doubts that whether the Olympic Games to be held in Japan’s capital would go ahead safely or not.

Organizers said that the decision on whether Olympic fans would be allowed at the Games has been held until the emergency ends. It is just weeks before the opening ceremony of the Games. Earlier, overseas fans’ entries have been barred in the Olympics.

As compared to other countries, Japan has seen a less Covid-19 outbreak with around 12,500 deaths and has also avoided tough lockdowns. The fourth wave has prompted the government to declare emergency measures in 10 regions of the country that also includes the capital Tokyo.

Suga said that the number of new cases has declined since the middle of the month but the situation is uncertain. According to the experts, early lifting of restrictions could lead to a surge in cases running up to the Games to be held next month.

The extension of restrictions meant that Tokyo and nine other parts of the country will be under states of emergency which cast fresh doubts on the prospects of pandemic-postponed Olympics.

Tokyo 2020 chief Seiko Hashimoto said that she expects the situation to be improved. She added that once the state of emergency is lifted the government would assess the number of spectators to be allowed in the Games. Under the current state of emergency, Japan’s sports venue has allowed 5,000 seats for spectators.

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