AFCON

IOC Reassures Japan Olympics Will Be Safe

307

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) reassured Japan on Wednesday that the Tokyo Olympics would be safe for athletes as well as the host community, amid mounting opposition to the Games and fears it will fuel a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Speaking in Tokyo alongside senior Japanese officials, IOC chief Thomas Bach said he believed more than 80% of residents of the Olympic Village would be vaccinated or booked for vaccination ahead of the Games set to start on July 23.

He rejected growing calls to cancel the global sporting showpiece, already delayed once due to the pandemic, saying that other sporting events had proved the Olympics could go ahead with strong COVID-19 precautions.

Protesters calling for the cancellation of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.

Bach’s comments came as Japan kept up a battle with a fourth wave of infections though its slow vaccination campaign has undermined already shaky public confidence that the Games should proceed.

“Together with our Japanese partners and friends, I can only re-emphasise this full commitment of the IOC to organise safe Olympic and Paralympic games for everybody,” Bach said.

“To accomplish this, we are now fully focused on the delivery of the Olympic Games.”

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach delivers an opening speech on a screen at a meeting of the IOC Coordination Commission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, in Tokyo, Japan on May 19, 2021.

Less than 30% of medics in Japan’s major cities have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, with just 65 days left to the start of the Olympics.

Cabinet figures showed this week that three months into Japan’s vaccination push, less than 40% of its medical workers were fully inoculated.

The problem is especially pronounced in the capital, Tokyo, which plays host to the Games, and other large population centres, where the rate of fully vaccinated medical workers was less than 30%.

Much of the vaccine supply was concentrated in large hospitals, and there had been problems in the reservation systems for medical staff, it said.

The slow pace of vaccinations of doctors and nurses has been among the complaints cited by medical groups that oppose the Games.

Bach said the IOC would do its part to keep the Japanese public safe, by having additional medical personnel as part of the NOC delegations to support the medical operations and the strict implementation of the COVID-19 countermeasures.

Chidi Nwoke/Reuters.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: