Tokyo, 8 February 2021 (AFP) – The Tokyo Games Organization and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) insist on promising a safe Olympic event (23 July to 8 August) despite the epidemic, but Japanese experts doubt that possibility .
“Even without the coronovirus epidemic, the Olympic Games, as a group of common people, are in favor of all types of infectious diseases,” expert Atsuo Hamada of Tokyo Medical University told AFPO.
The Tokyo-2020 Organizing Committee began to establish new rules for the participants. There will be a health test before arrival in Japan, once regular testing in the country, monitoring restrictions and contacts, in addition to being in the Olympic Village.
Olympic officials have highlighted the success of other sporting events during the epidemic, but health experts say the Games are large, with more than 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries in Tokyo.
“There can be no greater danger,” says Michael Head, a global health researcher at the University of Southampton (UK), questioned by AFP.
Even if athletes are vaccinated, “there may be some variants that show some resistance to the vaccine,” the expert estimates.
“Bringing together people from so many different countries will increase the likelihood of seeing a new variant,” says Head.
– ‘Incomparable’ – “Everything that is being done to reduce risk is being done”, guarantees Hasan Valley, Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University, Australia. “But you can’t completely reduce the risk,” he says.
“If you look at things from a public health angle, you shouldn’t host games at this time,” says Hassan Valley.
The organization of the Games waits for spring (Northern Hemisphere) to make some difficult decisions, including the possibility of restricting or restricting audience access to the stadiums.
“It’s inconceivable to allow audiences around the world to enter,” believes Atsuo Hamada.
Head believes that viewership should be as limited as possible. “It won’t eliminate the risk, but it will reduce it,” he says.
The introduction of vaccination has raised hopes for the Games, although some countries have announced that they do not plan to vaccinate their athletes before summer, while the IOC and Japan believe that participating in the vaccination event Is a mandatory condition.
– Unusable infections – Japanese public health expert – Koji Wada believes that it is unlikely that all athletes and the entire Japanese population will be vaccinated before the opening of the Olympic competition on 23 July.
Professor of Tokyo International Health University said, “Vaccines are a tool to protect everyone, not others.”
Wada recommends that the organization evaluate some sports that involve very close physical contact, such as judo, although sports seem less likely to cut into any modernity.
The head is more direct. From a health point of view, organizing the Games “currently makes no sense”.
Other experts throw light on the measures that should be taken for the games played.
Atsuo Hamada can “imagine sports” with constant control, limiting athletes and staff to their movements and bubbles, with everyone watching the program on television.
Hassan Valley believes that the Games can be organized, but the organization must recognize that the transition will occur.
He says, “It is impossible to organize games without any virus-related scandal. The biggest challenge will be to answer this.”
Hah-s / ras / noon / psr / mr