FRIDAY, July 9, 2021 (Healthday News) --No spectators will be allowed at the Olympic Games in Tokyo when they begin in two weeks, organizers announced Thursday.
The decision came after a new state of emergency was declared in the city due to a sudden surge in coronavirus cases, The New York Times reported.
Last month, officials said they would allow domestic spectators, despite public fears that the Games would worsen the city's coronavirus situation.
In related news, Olympic officials decided this week to eliminate nearly all running during the final leg of the Olympic torch's journey through Japan. Instead, the torch's two-week trip through Tokyo and its suburbs will feature a series of ceremonies that will be closed to the public, the Times reported.
The announcement that there would be no spectators at the Games came only hours before the Olympic torch was set to begin the last leg of its trip through Japan, the Times reported.
Addressing reporters on Thursday night, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga acknowledged the challenge the country faced as the more contagious Delta variant had begun to circulate. He warned about the danger of the virus spreading beyond Tokyo as people traveled home after the Games, the Times reported.
Yet, he still pledged to deliver an Olympic Games that would be an example of overcoming adversity.
Viewers will be tuning in from around the world, he said, and "I want to transmit to them a message from Tokyo about overcoming hardship with effort and wisdom."
Here is more on the Tokyo Olympics.
SOURCE: The New York Times