With just nine weeks to go for the Games to get under way, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sought to calm fears in Japan that the event would present a burden to a medical system already under strain from the pandemic. Asked whether the Olympics would go ahead even if Tokyo is under a state of emergency, IOC vice-president John Coates, who oversees the preparations, said on Friday: Absolutely yes.
London: The Tokyo Olympic Games will go ahead even if the host city is under a state of emergency due to COVID-19, a top official said on Friday.
He added: All of the plans we have in place, to protect the safety and security of the athletes and the people of Japan, are based on the worst possible circumstances. Coates, who spoke at the end of the three-day virtual meeting, said that more than 80% of residents of the Olympic Village would be vaccinated by July 23, when the event starts.
He added that additional medical personnel would be a part of the foreign Olympic delegations to support the operations and implementation of the COVID-19 countermeasures. Coates also said he hopes that public acceptance of the Games would rise as more people get vaccinated.
To minimise risk of the infection, the organiser has cut the number of people coming to participate in the Olympics, as part of foreign delegations, to 78,000 from about 1,80,000, Seiko Hashimoto, who runs the organising committee, told reporters.
Hashimoto said that the Olympics would rely on 230 doctors and 300 nurses a day, with about 50,000-60,000 coronavirus tests carried out daily. We want to make sure we secure medical personnel in a way that will not burden local services, said Hashimoto.