Head of Olympic organizing committee hasn’t ruled out last-minute cancellation

TOKYO — The CEO of the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee said in a press conference Tuesday that he has not ruled out a last-minute cancellation of the Games if COVID-19 cases continued to rise.

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Toshiro Muto suggested that the Olympics could still be cancelled if infection rates continue to rise in a news conference on Tuesday, according to CNBC.

“We can’t predict what will happen with the number of coronavirus cases. So we will continue discussions if there is a spike in cases,” Muto said.

“We have agreed that based on the coronavirus situation, we will convene five-party talks again. At this point, the coronavirus cases may rise or fall, so we will think about what we should do when the situation arises.”

The Olympics, which were postponed for a year because of the pandemic, are set to officially open Friday with no fans in nearly all event venues, including at the opening ceremony.

There has been opposition from the Japanese public, which fears that it could become a super-spreader event, according to The Associated Press.

Japanese authorities said Monday that 21.6% of the nation’s 126 million population is fully vaccinated.

The Games are scheduled to run until Aug. 8.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.