While the IOC and Japan have decided to postpone the Tokyo Olympics to 23 July – 8 August 2021, it will take about a year to guarantee that the games can, in fact, be held then, German virologist Alexander Kekulé said in an interview with the German TV channel ARD.
The organisation of the Olympics in 2021 is in jeopardy because no one knows how far the world pandemic will go by then, noted Kekule, a professor of microbiology and virology at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg.
The virologist does not think the pandemic will have disappeared completely by summer 2021. Some countries have health systems that are much less prepared for the spread of Covid-19 and the danger could come from there, he feels.
Virologists speak of “collective immunity” when about two-thirds of the world’s population have developed immunity to the virus. It is only by spring of next year that it will be possible to assess seriously whether that can be the case by summer.
“A good time to do that would certainly be March or April next year, when a final decision can be made,” Kekulé said.