Coronavirus: Athletes Village for Tokyo Olympics could be used as temporary hospital

Athletes Village that was slated to be used as housing for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo could be used as a temporary hospital for coronavirus patients, according to the Associated Press. This comes after Japan and the International Olympic Committee agreed to move the 2020 Games to the summer of 2021 as the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike has recently been discussing the possibility that the complex could be used as a hospital given that it won’t be occupied for the Olympics until next July. the 24-building complex at the Tokyo Bay is slated to house up to 11,000 Olympic athletes and then 4,400 Paralympic athletes during the two events.

Koike revealed that Athletes Village is “one of the options, 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.” Another possibility that’s being considered is buying a hotel that could hold patients amid the pandemic.

Following the 2020 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, the original plan was for the 5,600 individual units to be sold as apartments. The apartments were slated to be renovated and wouldn’t be eligible for occupancy until 2023.

According to the health ministry, Japan currently has 3,300 reported cases of the COVID-19 virus with 74 deaths. There were 97 new cases reported in Tokyo on Thursday and officials are searching for more space to hold patients as the number of cases increase.

As of Friday afternoon, there have been at least 1,000,000 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, according to CBS News, and more than 53,000 people have died due to the virus. In addition, multiple states are under a state of emergency and public health officials are recommending large gatherings of people — including sporting events — be canceled or closed to the public.

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