GENEVA (Reuters) - The World Health Organization has said it would discuss managing COVID-19 risks with Japanese authorities and the International Olympic Committee, after organizers announced some spectators would be permitted to attend the Tokyo Games.
Mike Ryan, head of WHO’s emergencies program, noted that infection rates in Japan have been falling, and said they compared favorably to other countries that were hosting large scale events.
Up to 10,000 domestic spectators will be allowed in Tokyo 2020 venues, Olympics organizers said on Monday, a decision that cut against the recommendation of some medical experts who said holding the event without fans was the least risky option.
Spectators from overseas have already been banned from the multi-billion-dollar extravaganza, which begins on July 23, amid public opposition and deep concern about a potential resurgence in infections.
Ryan said Japan’s rate of 80 infections per million residents in the past week was much lower than in many other countries.
The WHO would continue to examine risk management procedures and risk assessment for the Games, “looking at measures from diagnosis to screening to surveillance to physical distancing, ventilation, and many other matters”, he said.