Naoto Ueyama, head of the Japan Doctors Union warned that holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer could give rise to a new COVID-19 strain.
“All of the different mutant strains of the virus which exist in different places will be concentrated and gathering here in Tokyo. We cannot deny the possibility of even a new strain of the virus potentially emerging,” said Ueyama.
Despite the surging cases in the country and emerging strains globally, Japanese officials, Olympics organizers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) still maintained that the games will continue.
“If such a situation were to arise, it could even mean a Tokyo Olympic strain of the virus being named in this way, which would be a huge tragedy and something which would be the target of criticism, even for 100 years,” added Ueyama.
According to the John Hopkins University, Japan’s average cases were around 4,500 in a span of seven days.
Japan’s slow vaccine rollout also posed a threat as only over 5% of the population have been inoculated.
Japan’s government will decide Friday whether the state of emergency will be extended just two months before the Tokyo Summer Olympics.
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