International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach has backed the decision to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, saying he iscommitted toward holding a safe and successful Olympic Games.
He stated this during a meeting with Tokyo 2020 organisers to finalise the second edition of the ‘playbooks’ of rules for the Summer Games, with less than three months to go, and Japan battling a surge of coronavirus cases.
Parts of Japan including the capital were put under another state of emergency at the weekend, and many of the Japanese public think the Games, postponed from 2020 because of the pandemic, should be cancelled or postponed again.
The emergency, which is due to last until May 11, requires restaurants and bars serving alcohol to close along with large stores, cinemas and other commercial facilities.
Speaking via a video link, Bach told organisers, including Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto that he understood the move.
He said that compliance with the playbooks, which laid out a number of anti-infection measures, would be strictly enforced.
“The IOC is fully committed to the successful and safe delivery of the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he said.
An earlier edition of the rules, which came out in February, banned singing and chanting during events and mandated that event participants should wear masks at all times except when either sleeping, eating.
Spectators from overseas have already been excluded, but more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and their entourages are expected in July.
Media reports said athletes and coaches would undergo virus testing on a daily basis.
According to Kyodo News Agency, officials who come into close contact with athletes will also need to be tested every day.
A decision on the number of domestic spectators allowed into venues may not come until June.