Earlier this week, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency due to the coronavirus outbreak and put the country on certain restrictions to try and combat further spread of respiratory disease. This announcement came after a period where it seemed like Japan had missed out on the brunt of the global pandemic. Due to the state of emergency declaration, the chief executive of the Tokyo Games hinted that the rescheduled Olympics could be in doubt for next year.
"I don't think anyone would be able to say if it is going to be possible to get it under control by next July or not," Tokyo organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said at a news conference conducted remotely, per the Associated Press. "We're certainly are not in a position to give you a clear answer."
This doesn't mean that the committee has been actively planning for the worst-case scenario, according to Muto. He was just stating the reality of the situation at hand given the country's top news of the week.
"Rather than think about alternatives plans, we should put in all of our effort," he said. "Mankind should bring together all of its technology and wisdom to work hard so they can development treatments, medicines and vaccines."
Muto was not able to give a clear answer on how much the cost of postponing the Olympics would be, saying it was too soon to know the exact number. For what it's worth, reported estimates have been hovering around $3 billion. He noted that while the games have insurance policies, it's not clear whether postponing the games allows them to collect -- unlike, say, Wimbledon, which gets to collect on theirs because the .
About 5,000 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Japan, and around 100 people have died from the respiratory disease, according to the AP.