The Covid-19 Advisory Board of the government responsible for fighting the outbreak in Japan said on Friday that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics should be played without spectators, according to the Kyodo agency.

Shigeru Omi, head of the Japan Community Health Care Organization, held a news conference in Tokyo regarding proposals the board made to the government about the Games.

Omi said that it is reasonable to organize the Games without spectators.

He said it would be the most effective way to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Omi advised organizers to think about ways to reduce the risk, identify scenarios that provide strong measures and to make their decisions public as soon as possible.

In addition, 26 experts, including Director-General of National Institute of Infectious Diseases Takaji Wakita shared concerns with the government and the organizational team that the Olympics could trigger a new wave of the coronavirus outbreak.

Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto said organizers thought similarly to the opinions of the experts about spectators at the Games and they will work on ways that allow spectators to be in the stands safely, in consultation with experts.

The Olympic Games, which were postponed last year because of the pandemic, will be held July 23 – Aug. 8 and the Paralympic Games from Aug. 24 – Sept. 5.

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