Japan and COVID-19: A Rising Tide of Anxiety

DiamondPrincess, cc Flickr mstk east, modified, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 was declared a global health emergency, the International Olympic Committee has been faced with the arduous task of deciding whether the Tokyo Olympic Games should go ahead this July.

Japan is one of the worst-affected countries in the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, outside of mainland China. The principle concern is that during a huge sports gathering, the virus could spread further. China is planning to send more than 600 athletes to the Olympics, along with a large contingent of supporters.

In response to heated speculation in the press and on social media, the head of the coordinating commission of the International Olympic Committee, John Coats, denied that the games are in jeopardy. He told reporters in Tokyo: “The advice we have received from the World Health Organisation is that there is no case for a contingency plan to move or cancel the Games.”

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