Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee President Yoshiro Mori speaks during a press conference in Tokyo. File/AP
The development of a coronavirus vaccine or treatment will be key to allowing the postponed Tokyo 2020 games to open in a year's time, organising committee president Yoshiro Mori said on Wednesday.
Asked what factors will be crucial for the rescheduled Games to go ahead, Mori said "it would be whether the coronavirus woe is settling down."
Archer cleared to rejoin England squad for final Test after 2nd COVID-19 negative report
DSC to hold global forum to discuss future of womens sport
"Specifically, the first point will be that a vaccine or drug has been developed," he said in an interview with national broadcaster NHK, published Wednesday.
Asked whether Tokyo could hold the Games if the virus situation remained unchanged, Mori said: "If things continue as they are now, we couldn't."
But he said that scenario was hypothetical. "I can't imagine a situation like this will continue for another year," he said
Tokyo 2020 should have been opening on Friday, but the Games were postponed in March as the coronavirus spread across the globe, marking the worst disruption to an Olympics since two editions were cancelled during World War II.
The Games are now set to open on July 23, 2021, but recent polls have shown less public enthusiasm for hosting the event, as virus cases show a resurgence in Japan.
Just one in four people in Japan want to see the delayed Tokyo Games held next year, with most backing either further delay or a cancellation, according to a survey published by Kyodo News this week.
Most of those backing a delay or cancellation said they simply didn't believe the pandemic could be contained in time for the Games.
Among the options that have been floated for a Games held during a pandemic is the possibility of limited spectators, or holding the event behind closed doors.
But Mori said reducing the number of spectators would be tough.
And he said holding the event without any fans was not an option for now.
"If it's the only way to do it, then it's something we'd have to consider. If that happens, there might be talk of cancellation," he was quoted as saying, without elaborating.
With just over a year to go until the rescheduled Games, there are persistent doubts about whether the delay will be sufficient for the pandemic to be brought under control.
Japan has so far reported 26,300 COVID-19 cases with 989 deaths, but Tokyo has seen an increase in cases recently and the country's borders remain almost completely sealed to overseas visitors.Agence France-Presse
Russia has said the vaccine, developed by Moscow's Gamaleya Institute and the first for the coronavirus to go into production, will be rolled out by the end of this month. Some scientists said they fear Moscow may be putting national prestige before safety.
“We are seeing a roughly similar pattern everywhere — I suspect we have more immunity than estimated,” Professor Karol Sikora, who previously directed the WHO’s cancer programme, said.
About a dozen vaccines are in different stages of human tests globally, as the World Health Organization warns the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating and "the world is in a new and dangerous phase".
The world’s Phase III clinical trial of two COVID-19 vaccines, a partnership between the G24 Healthcare in Abu Dhabi and the Sinopharm CNBG (China National Biotec Group) is a silver lining and UAE residents are looking forward to the finality of the pandemic by 2021.
'It’s a big issue in tennis. We get these stupid and abusive comments all the time. And to be honest, we are tired of it,' said Daria Kasatkina, a 26-year-old from Russia who was a 2022 semifinalist in Paris. 'People just do that and they don’t get punished. Nothing. Only we suffer from reading all of this (expletive).'
The announcement regarding Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club’s junior team in the tournament was made at a press conference held on Wednesday at the club in the presence of Lisa Matthews, General Manager of Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club, and Jan Azam, Polo Manager of the club.
During the two-day visit, PCB also said Barclay and Allardice met with Najam Sethi, Chair of the PCB Management Committee, and other officials, to discuss wide-ranging matters of mutual interest around cricket, including promotion, growth and development.