Coronavirus pandemic: Tokyo Olympics 2020's Flame of Recovery tour scaled back due to COVID-19 concerns

Organisers have been keen to label Tokyo 2020 as the 'Reconstruction Olympics' as a symbol of Japan’s recovery from the disaster.

Reuters March 16, 2020 15:23:26 IST
Coronavirus pandemic: Tokyo Olympics 2020's Flame of Recovery tour scaled back due to COVID-19 concerns

Tokyo: Tokyo 2020’s Flame of Recovery tour, taking the Olympic flame to parts of Japan most affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, has been scaled back as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, organisers said.

The six day tour was set to begin on Friday, and takes place before the official torch relay begins on 26 March. It will visit locations in Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima prefectures, the areas hardest hit by the disaster.

Coronavirus pandemic Tokyo Olympics 2020s Flame of Recovery tour scaled back due to COVID19 concerns

The Japanese national flag waves next to an altar with the Olympic flame of the Tokyo 2020. AP

Relay organisers said on Monday that “the main displays of the Olympic Flame will be staged largely as planned” but that certain elements, including the welcoming event with children on Friday and various other ceremonies have been cancelled.

Organisers have been keen to label Tokyo 2020 as the 'Reconstruction Olympics' as a symbol of Japan’s recovery from the disaster.

However, a cloud hands over plans for the Games, due to begin on 24 July, as the coronavirus outbreak spreads across the world.

Several qualifying events, including those for climbing, boxing, fencing and judo have been cancelled or postponed, leaving athletes uncertain about how and when they will be able to qualify for the Olympics.

Tokyo’s test event for volleyball, due to take place in the newly-built Ariake Arena starting on 21 April, has been cancelled due to concerns over the coronavirus.

Various other test events, dress rehearsals ahead of the actual contests in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, have also been cancelled, including rugby sevens and boccia.

The number of coronavirus infections in Japan rose to 1,484 on Sunday, including 697 from a cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, and 14 returnees on charter flights from China. Deaths in Japan related to the virus stand at 29.

Follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak here

Updated Date:

also read

Vaccine-resistant new COVID-like virus discovered in Russian bats could infect humans, finds study
India

Vaccine-resistant new COVID-like virus discovered in Russian bats could infect humans, finds study

A team led by researchers at Washington State University, US, found spike proteins from the bat virus, named Khosta-2, can infect human cells and is resistant to both the antibody therapies and blood serum from people vaccinated forS-CoV-2

Are the young dying of heart attack due to COVID-19?
World

Are the young dying of heart attack due to COVID-19?

"During our study, we couldn't detect viral particles in the cardiac tissues of COVID-19 patients, but what we found was tissue changes associated with DNA damage and repair,"

Dengue cases climb in West Bengal, 840 new infections in run-up to festival
India

Dengue cases climb in West Bengal, 840 new infections in run-up to festival

Most of the cases have been reported from North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Kolkata, Hooghly, Murshidabad, South 24 Parganas, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts