COVID-19: World’s oldest person pulls out of Tokyo Olympics torch relay

COVID-19: World’s oldest person pulls out of Tokyo Olympics torch relay

The world's oldest person, Kane Tanaka, has decided not to participate in the torch relay for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics over pandemic fears.

The development was disclosed by an official at her nursing home on Wednesday.

The 118-year-old Japanese, who was awarded a Guinness World Record, was slated to be one of the relay participants in Fukuoka in southern Japan on May 11.

"We received an email from her family which said she wanted to withdraw from the relay as she and her family were concerned about spreading the virus at the nursing home," an official said at the nursing home.

The Olympic torch relay, which kicked off in March, has been hit by a coronavirus outbreak.

Six people who helped with the torch relay were diagnosed with COVID-19, the Tokyo 2020 organisers said Sunday, bringing the total number of cases involved in the event to eight.

Some celebrities who were due to take part have withdrawn from the relay due to safety reasons amid the pandemic.

Japan last month declared a COVID-19 state of emergency for the major population centres including Tokyo and Osaka to curb the resurgence of infections.

Reuters

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