Will the 2020 Olympics Be Cancelled?
The coronavirus outbreak has had such a great impact that if the Tokyo Olympics were scheduled for this month, they would not be allowed to go ahead.
That's according to Dr. Hitoshi Oshitani, a prominent Japanese virologist, who suggested finding an effective strategy to guarantee the safety of athletes, staff, spectators and media was the priority for the organizers.
"I'm not sure [of] the situation in Japan at the end of July," he said at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on Wednesday, as per The Associated Press.
"We need to find the best way to have a safe Olympics. Right now we don't have an effective strategy, and I think it may be difficult to have the Olympics [now]. But by the end of July we may be in a different situation."
The 2020 Olympics are scheduled to be held in Tokyo between July 24 and August 9, but a number of qualifying events have been either canceled or postponed due to the virus outbreak.
The women's Olympic soccer qualifying matches for Australia, Taiwan, Thailand and China were among the events canceled, as were the World Indoor Athletics Championships and the Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix, which were scheduled over the next two months.
Over 2,000 people have been killed by the virus since the outbreak began in Wuhan, a city located in China's central Hubei province, late last year.