11:33 GMT17 May 2021
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    Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike is considering turning the under-construction Athletes Village for the Tokyo Olympics into a temporary hospital for COVID-19 patients.

    In a statement obtained by the Associated Press (AP), Koike said that the Athletes Village was “one of the options” to house patients, “but the village is not finished yet.”

    “We are talking about places that are available even today or tomorrow and checking a possibility one by one,” Koike added, also noting that the Tokyo city government is considering buying a hotel in which to keep coronavirus patients.

    The Athletes Village complex, which will include 24 buildings, will be able to house 11,000 Olympic and 4,400 Paralympic athletes and staff during the games, AP reported. Following the Olympics, the housing units will be renovated and sold. The unit prices are between $500,000 and $2 million.

    Japan’s health ministry has reported at least 3,300 cases of the virus and more than 70 deaths in the country. 

    The International Olympic Committee announced on Monday that the Summer Games in Tokyo, previously scheduled for 2020, will be postponed one year and will instead start on July 23, 2021. 

    “These new dates give the health authorities and all involved in the organization of the Games the maximum time to deal with the constantly changing landscape and the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the International Olympic Committee said in a statement.

    The Olympics is not the only sporting event to be closed down amid the global pandemic. The Championships, Wimbledon, the oldest tennis tournament in the world, was also canceled Wednesday amid the pandemic.


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    Japan, Olympics, coronavirus, COVID-19
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