World’s oldest person pulls out of Olympic torch relay

Afp, Tokyo

8 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The world's oldest person, a Japanese woman aged 118, has given up her spot in the Olympic torch relay due to a surge in Covid-19 cases across the country.

Kane Tanaka from Fukuoka in southern Japan had been planning to use a wheelchair to carry the torch when it passes through the city on Tuesday.

But her family said in a statement obtained by AFP on Friday that Tanaka would no longer participate because "the spread of the coronavirus has not been contained".

The government on Friday extended a virus state of emergency in Tokyo and other areas, and also imposed the restrictions in Fukuoka and one other region. The measure, in place until May 31, restricts commercial activity but is less strict than the blanket lockdowns seen in other countries.

"The care home where Kane lives has banned visitors to prevent germs from coming inside and has so far ensured the safety of its residents," her family said.