People in Tokyo protesting against the Tokyo Olympics.
  • The head of the Japan Doctors Union said the Olympics could create a new coronavirus strain.
  • "All of the different mutant strains of the virus which exist in different places will be concentrated," he said.
  • The event's organisers pledge that the event will be safe amid multiple calls for it to be canceled.
  • For more stories go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.

The head of a Japanese doctors' union has warned that this summer's Tokyo Games could create a new coronavirus strain if the games go ahead.

Naoto Ueyama of the Japan Doctors Union told a news conference on Thursday, according to Reuters: "All of the different mutant strains of the virus which exist in different places will be concentrated and gathering here in Tokyo. We cannot deny the possibility of even a new strain of the virus potentially emerging."

He continued: "If such a situation were to arise, it could even mean a Tokyo Olympic strain of the virus being named in this way, which would be a huge tragedy and something which would be the target of criticism, even for 100 years."

When the coronavirus runs rampant in an area, new strains - or variants that behave differently from previous ones - are more likely to be created, as Insider's Aylin Woodward reported. And the more people a virus infects, the more chances it has to mutate into a new variant.

Japan and Olympic organisers have pledged that the event will be safe and have barred international spectators.

But a large number of Japanese people and doctors in the country have called for the games to be postponed or canceled.

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