The latest on the Covid-19 pandemic as Olympics approach

By Melissa Mahtani, Meg Wagner, Mike Hayes, Melissa Macaya and Veronica Rocha, CNN

Updated 0418 GMT (1218 HKT) July 22, 2021
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8:03 a.m. ET, July 21, 2021

Tokyo 2020 boss not ruling out last-minute cancellation of Olympic Games

From CNN's Chandler Thornton and Ben Church

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto isn’t ruling out a last minute cancellation of the Olympic Games amid rising Covid-19 cases.

Tokyo reported 1,387 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, the city’s second-highest daily increase of new cases since Jan. 21, according to Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s website.

And as athletes have started to arrive ahead of the opening ceremony on Friday, the number of cases in Japan linked to the Games is now over 70, according to organizers.

“We cannot predict what the epidemic will look like in the future. So as for what to do should there be any surge of positive cases, we’ll discuss accordingly if that happens,” Muto said during a press conference held in Tokyo on Tuesday. 

“During the last five-party talk, it was clearly stated we’ll continue to monitor the coronavirus situation, and a five-party talk will be held if necessary.”

The five parties are the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee, the Japan government, the Tokyo Metropolitan government and the International Paralympic Committee.

“At this stage, the coronavirus situation might get worse or better, so we will think about what to do when the situation actually arises,” added Muto.

The capital is currently under a coronavirus state of emergency, which is set to expire on Aug. 22, and organizers announced this month that the Tokyo venues will not have spectators as a result. 

Just three days before the sporting spectacle is set to begiin, Tokyo public health expert Dr. Kenji Shibuya said the Olympic bubble system “is kind of broken.”

Read more here.