Ceremonies for the lighting and handover of the Olympic flame ahead of the Summer Games will start this week in Greece as scheduled, but without spectators amid the spread of the new coronavirus, Tokyo Olympics CEO Toshiro Muto said Monday.

With the number of infections in western Greece surging, the local municipal council had proposed to postpone the lighting ceremony to May. But the International Olympic Committee decided to push forward with the events, according to those in charge of the matter in Olympia.

The sacred flame will be lit Thursday in Olympia to mark the start of the torch relay, with the handover ceremony to be held a week later in Athens.

The Tokyo Games organizers said the size of the Japanese delegation participating in both ceremonies will be reduced.

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