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Virus-delayed Tokyo 2021 Olympics may allow spectators

CAPE TOWN- The International Olympic Committee may allow spectators to attend the 2021 Tokyo Games in July after the committee chief Thomas Bach said he is “very, very confident” that safety measures put in place will contribute to hosting a safe event.

One of the biggest global athletic events which was set to take place on 24 July this year was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The call was made in March to push back the event.

In a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Bach said: “In order to protect the Japanese people and out of respect for the Japanese people, the IOC will undertake great effort so that as many (people) as possible — Olympic participants and visitors will arrive here (with a) vaccine if by then a vaccine is available. This makes us all very confident that we can have spectators in the Olympics stadium next year and that spectators will enjoy a safe environment.”

The Tokyo games, set to take place between 23 July until 8 August 2021, will mark the first time an Olympics has been postponed since the games began in the 19th century.

SEE ALSO: COVID-19 VACCINE FROM PFIZER FOUND TO BE 90% EFFECTIVE

Last week, a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech proved to be 90% effective in preventing people from infection during the ongoing Phase 3 trials. News of its efficiency has fueled hopes that it could be ready by early next year, and before the start of the Summer Olympics which are set to take place in July.

Olympic participants and fans arriving for next year’s Olympics could face requirements to be vaccinated to protect the Japanese public.

At least 11 000 athletes from around the world are expected to participate in the Games.

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