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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 June 16 - 22  > Gov’t should take seriously experts’ warning about spread of Olympic-induced infections: Shii
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2021 June 16 - 22 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Gov’t should take seriously experts’ warning about spread of Olympic-induced infections: Shii

June 19, 2021

Dr. Omi Shigeru, the chairman of the government panel of experts on the novel coronavirus, and 25 panel members on June 18 published a report on an assessment of the risk of spreading COVID-19 infections during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. The experts proposed that the organizers, the national government, and local municipalities take measures to minimize the risks.

The experts’ group submitted their proposal to the Suga government and the Tokyo Games organizing committee.

The 26 experts in their proposal made a detailed risk assessment on COVID-19 issues needed to be addressed by the national and municipal governments in cooperation with the organizers, such as ways to deal with an increase in the flow of people during the Games, and sounded a warning regarding the spread of infections.

The experts in their assessment noted that the number of spectators each day will reach 430,000 if all ticket holders come to the Olympic venues. Pointing out that the size of the audience is an order of magnitude larger than that of fans in popular sporting events, including professional baseball games, the experts stated that the convergence of people in Tokyo during the Games will further increase the risk of spreading infections.

As measures to cut the risk, the experts recommended that the Games be held without fans. At the same time, the experts said that if the Games accept spectators, restrictions tougher than for other major events should be applied. In addition, the experts demanded that public viewing sites be cancelled and that the gathering at eating establishments to watch the Games be prohibited.

Furthermore, the experts in their proposal requested the national government to implement strict measures without delay when recognizing the need to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed due to the anticipated surge of infections during the Games.

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on the day at a street speech held in Tokyo’s Koto Ward in the run-up to the coming Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election in regard to the experts’ proposal said, “The Suga government should accept and hold serious discussions on the experts’ proposal and explain the results to the general public.”
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