Olympic Torch Relay Barred From Public Roads Across Japan's Osaka
Muhammad Rameez 6 days ago Wed 07th April 2021 | 01:03 PM
The Olympic torch relay will be barred from public roads across Japan's Osaka region as virus cases there spike, prompting officials to declare a medical emergency, the governor said Wednesday
Tokyo (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 7th Apr, 2021 ) :The Olympic torch relay will be barred from public roads across Japan's Osaka region as virus cases there spike, prompting officials to declare a medical emergency, the governor said Wednesday.
"Today, we decided to ask residents across the entire Osaka region to refrain from making non-essential and non-urgent outings, so we will cancel the torch relay on public roads in the prefecture," regional governor Hirofumi Yoshimura told reporters.
He said officials were discussing whether the torch could be carried on a closed route inside a park as an alternative.
The relay launch ceremony was held without spectators because of virus concerns, and rules already require fans lining the route to wear masks and avoid cheering.
Yoshimura said it would be "inappropriate" to hold it in the Osaka region on public roads as large numbers of onlookers could gather.
"The torch relay tends to attract crowds because people want to see it, even if we take measures," he said.
The decision came as the Osaka region declared a medical emergency, with rising infections putting local health facilities under increasing strain.
It is expected to report a record number of infections later Wednesday after setting several new highs in recent weeks.
Local residents are being asked to avoid non-essential outings, and Osaka city is already under special anti-virus measures including asking businesses to close early.
Yoshimura had suggested last week that Osaka city's relay leg might be cancelled, before a compromise was reached to keep the flame off public roads.
And three qualifiers organised in Japan by the international swimming federation FINA are in doubt because of virus restrictions, with announcements on whether they will be moved due this week.