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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 August 4 - 10  > Like Olympic Games, forcible opening of Paralympics runs counter to infection control measures
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2021 August 4 - 10 TOP3 [POLITICS]

Like Olympic Games, forcible opening of Paralympics runs counter to infection control measures

August 10, 2021
Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The Tokyo Olympic Games closed amid the explosive rise in coronavirus infections. During the Games, the number of new COVID cases soared, which caused a serious situation where patients were unable to be hospitalized. The Olympics was held during a state of emergency. There is no doubt that this ran counter to measures to control infections and increased the risk of endangering people’s lives. Organizers of the Tokyo Games, including the Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide-led government, the Tokyo metropolitan government, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC), went headlong into holding the Games by turning their backs not only on experts’ warnings of a possible increase in the risk of spreading infections but also on public opinion calling for the cancellation of the Games from the standpoint that “lives are more important than the Games”. The Tokyo Games organizers should held responsible for causing the current situation.

In a Japan News Network (JNN) opinion poll result which was published on August 9, the percentage of people who answered that “the holding of the Games led to a further spread of infections” reached 60%. An Asahi Shimbun survey on the same day showed that more than 60% of respondents said that the Games helped ease people’s voluntary ban on leaving home.

While a state of emergency was declared in Tokyo with the aim of strictly containing people’s movement, the Olympic Games was opened. It is obvious that such an inconsistency greatly hindered efforts to prevent and control infections and accelerated sharply the spread of infections.

The number of new COVID cases in Tokyo jumped from 1,359 on July 23, the opening day of the Olympic Games, to 5,042 on August 5. The number of cases nationwide surpassed 15,000, another record. With medical institutions overwhelmed, many COVID patients have been forced to stay at home and several home-isolated patients died due to a sudden change in their condition.

The government has yet to handle properly the rapid spread of the delta variant and solve the issue of the nation’s slow vaccine rollout. The holding of the Paralympic Games from August 24 is an act of continuously sending a message of false optimism. It is high time to make the decision to cancel the Paralympics and focus all efforts on putting an end to the pandemic.

Past related articles:
> Gov’t should take seriously experts’ warning about spread of Olympic-induced infections: Shii [June 19, 2021]
> Over 230K signatures calling for cancellation of Tokyo Summer Games collected in 3 days [May 7 & 8, 2021]

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