No spectators at the Tokyo Olympics is the ‘least hazardous’ alternative.

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 15, 2020 the logo of the Japanese Olympic Committee is displayed at an entrance of the Japan Olympic Museum in Tokyo.
According to Japanese medical experts, having no spectators during the Tokyo Olympics is the “least risky” alternative.

They cautioned in a study that “a risk the movement of people” might spread Covid infections and “strain the [country’s] medical system”

However, some Japanese authorities have stated that they would like local fans to come if at all feasible. Foreign spectators are already prohibited.

The Olympics, which were supposed to begin last year, will begin on July 23.

The study was released on Friday by Japanese medical specialists led by senior health adviser Shigeru Omi.

It said that holding the Games without spectators was the “least risky” option and the desirable one.

However, the experts also floated an option that Olympic venues could each hold up to 10,000 spectators.

The president of Japan’s organising committee, Seiko Hashimoto, agreed that a “no fans” approach would reduce infections.

But she added that she would still explore ways to allow spectators.

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The final decision is expected on Monday.

In a separate development on Friday, officials and volunteers working on the Games started receiving vaccinations.

Pfizer are providing enough doses for 40,000 people, in an effort separate to Japan’s national vaccination drive.

The Olympics are scheduled to go ahead despite a fresh wave of Covid-19 cases in Japan in recent months.

A state of emergency in Tokyo is set to be lifted on Sunday, but polls in local media suggest public scepticism to the Games going ahead remains high amid a slow vaccine roll-out.

Only about 16 percent of the country’s population have received one Covid-19 dose so far, according to Reuters news agency.

The vaccine doses allocated for Games officials have been supplied by Pfizer as part of a deal agreed with the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government.

Those being vaccinated include volunteers and staff working at the athletes village and members of the media covering the Games.

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“Now that I will be vaccinated, I will feel a little more reassured doing my job,” Chika Hirai, director of doping control for Tokyo 2020, was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying.

BBC

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