Tokyo Olympic fears as Japan capital hit by record coronavirus spike and governor warns cases could 'explode'

A HUGE spike in coronavirus cases in Tokyo has raised concerns over whether the Olympics will be staged this summer.

There were a reported record 1,337 new infections in the Japanese capital on Thursday as part of a nationwide total of 4,515.

Both local and government officials have now warned that a state of emergency may have to be called to stop the numbers rising further.

On Wednesday Tokyo’s governor Yuriko Koike said the capital faces an 'explosion' of cases and told people they should 'put life before fun' and stay home during the New Year celebrations.

The already delayed Tokyo Olympics is due to start in just 203 days.

And to curb the spread of Covid-19, Japan has taken strict measures banning all non-resident foreigners from entering the country until January 31.

A travel exemption for elite athletes and coaches has also been scrapped, amid the latest surge in Covid-19 cases.

However, Olympic organisers are adamant that the Games will happen this summer in front of fans, including visitors from other countries.

This week, it emerged that athletes will have to face a 14-day quarantine period when they arrive in Japan in July.

And that is deterring some top athletes, including cyclists with the Tour de France ending just six days before the Olympic road race.

Rio 2016 champion Greg van Avermaet said: "If the riders have to choose between the Tour and the Games, you will not have the strongest field in Tokyo. A solution has to be found.

"The commercial value of the Tour is very great. The Olympic Games are not raced in a team jersey, but it is still the team that pay us."

The Toyko Olympics, originally scheduled for July 2020, was postponed back in March for a year as the coronavirus pandemic swept through the world.

The IOC had earlier said they would not delay the Games beyond 2021.

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