With the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games postponed to 2021 due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, the Tokyo government is considering using the empty venues constructed for the Games as temporary housing for citizens with mild coronavirus symptoms.
The Athletes’ Village is among the venues that could be used as temporary housing for those showing possible symptoms of the coronavirus, thereby removing them from the rest of the population as a means to stifle the spread of the virus. Another possibility is the use of a facility meant to house police officers and other Games personnel during the Games, though it is reportedly still under construction.
The Tokyo Government is also reportedly negotiating to lease hotel buildings as a means to further isolate citizens with mild coronavirus symptoms. So far, individuals with mild symptoms have been required to stay home, but the government would prefer them to stay at hotels if they pose a risk of infecting family members. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare said that patients with mild symptoms or those that are asymptomatic do not require hospitalization. Presently, 80% of those hospitalized in Tokyo due to the coronavirus have mild symptoms, meaning they will likely be discharged and sent home in order to make room for more serious cases.
As of Friday, April 3rd, Japan had a confirmed total of 2,617 cases of COVID-19 and 63 deaths due to complications from the illness. Tokyo alone confirmed 89 new cases on April 3rd, the highest single-day spike in cases yet reported in the city, bringing its total to 773 cases.
The Tokyo Olympics, or the Games of the XXXII Olympiad, are now scheduled for July 23rd to August 8th, 2021. The Paralympics will follow shortly after, from August 24th to September 5th, 2021.