Baltimore Sun

Top doc: Olympics safest with no fans


The safest way to hold the Tokyo Olympics amid the COVID-19 pandemic is without any fans, the top medical adviser to the Japanese government said in a report Friday. Dr. Shigeru Omi’s recommenda­tion seems to put him at odds with organizers and the Internatio­nal Olympic Committee with the Olympics opening July 23. Fans from abroad were banned several months ago, and organizers are to announce early next week if some local fans should be allowed. “We believe the risks of infections inside venues would be lowest by holding the event with no fans,” said the report, which was compiled by a group of 26 experts led by Omi, a former World Health Organizati­on official. Widely circulated reports say the government wants to allow up to 10,000 people at some sports and cultural events. This policy is expected to be applied to the Olympics with smaller ceilings at smaller venues, and difference­s for indoor and outdoor venues. Seiko Hashimoto, the president of the local organizing committee, said that the decision on fans was likely to be made Monday in a meeting with organizers, the IOC, the Tokyo metropolit­an government, the Japanese government, and the Internatio­nal Paralympic Committee.

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