A Japanese government-led panel agreed on Tuesday to establish a "health base" at the athletes' village at next year's Tokyo Games to treat competitors and coaches suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus.

Additionally, the panel formed by the government, Tokyo metropolitan government and Tokyo Games organizers agreed to set up an "infectious disease control center" within the organizing committee to centralize control over COVID-19 countermeasures.

Photo taken March 24, 2020, shows the athletes village for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (Kyodo)

"It is important to have a health care system in place in case athletes become infected," said Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Kazuhiro Sugita, the head of the panel.

The health base, separate from the general clinic in the village, will be responsible for keeping an eye on athletes' health, selecting the medical institutions that will hospitalize those who contract the virus and organizing transportation for patients.

The organizing committee's countermeasure center will be outfitted with doctors and set up within its main operation center, which will serve as the headquarters during the games.

It will work together with the health center and general clinic in the village to keep abreast of the health condition of athletes and detect infection at an early stage while gathering and sharing information related to the virus.

The general clinic in the athletes' village will also be equipped with an outpatient department to diagnose those showing symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The panel, launched in early September to formulate measures against the virus, met for the fourth time and plans to submit an interim report possibly by the end of the year after meeting once more.