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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 April 28 - May 11  > Five parties including IOC reluctant to face up to severity of pandemic situation in Japan
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2021 April 28 - May 11 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Five parties including IOC reluctant to face up to severity of pandemic situation in Japan

April 30, 2021

The International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, and the 2020 Tokyo Organizing Committee, the Tokyo Metropolitan government, and the Japanese government on April 28 at a teleconference agreed that a basic policy regarding an upper limit to domestic spectators for the Summer Games under the pandemic situation will be released in June.

The release of the basic policy was originally planned for April.

At a press conference after the virtual five-party meeting, Tokyo organizing committee president Hashimoto Seiko explained that due to the worsening of the pandemic situation in Japan, the release of the basic policy was postponed. Hashimoto, while stating she was ready for holding the Summer Games without spectators, expressed her hope for admitting as many spectators as possible. This suggests that the five parties are still reluctant to face up to the current severe situation in Japan caused by the pandemic.

The five-party meeting also confirmed the second version of the Tokyo 2020 playbook which incorporates more rigorous anti-coronavirus measures than the first version. The highlight of the upgraded playbook is a strengthened testing strategy under which, for example, athletes and people in proximity with athletes will be tested daily. In the first version, they receive a test every four days.

In order to implement anti-virus measures as stated in the playbook and hold the Games in a safe and secure manner, the securing of many healthcare workers is vital. It is reported that the Tokyo organizers requested the Japan Nursing Association to send 500 nurses to a 10,000 strong medical team assigned to the Games. Furthermore, it has come to light that the organizers plan to secure 30 designated COVID-19 hospitals in case where Olympic athletes come down with the infection.

The forcible mobilization of medical resources to the Summer Games will hinder Japan’s fight against the pandemic. The urgent need is for the five parties not to discuss whether to admit spectators, but to begin discussions on whether to hold the Games based on the current situation of the pandemic in Japan and around the world.

Past related article:
> Mobilization of many nurses to Summer Games during pandemic will weaken Japan’s healthcare system [ April 25 & 27, 2021]
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