Tokyo Olympics: IOA Joint-Secretary Shirgaonkar says, ‘Virus cannot be stopped, the danger remains whether games happen or not’- With just 9 weeks left for the Tokyo Olympics, Indian Olympics Association Joint-Secretary and VP of Maharashtra Olympic Association Namdev Shirgaonkar feels that the virus cannot be stopped so the Tokyo Olympics should go ahead as scheduled with ‘strictest safety measures’. He said that everyone’s lives are already in danger due to COVID-19 and the only measure one can take is to stay safe and undergo vaccination.
“To be completely honest, aren’t everyone’s lives in danger already? It’s not in danger only at the Olympics. The threat of the virus is very real and very widespread already. The only things to do are the health measures and utmost urgency of vaccinations. The virus cannot be stopped, so the danger remains with or without the Olympics, constantly,” he told The Times of India.
“For athletes, it is essential that the Olympics should be conducted but only by keeping the athletes’ health and safety as a priority. The organisers have to keep in mind that it makes no sense if the associations will be counting injuries or casualties instead of medals. They can definitely go ahead with the strictest safety measures,” he added.
Meanwhile, Public sentiments in China are already against staging the Tokyo Olympics with a surge in COVID-19 cases in Tokyo and across Japan.
A new survey has shown that more than 80% of Japanese people oppose hosting the Olympics this year with many parts of the country under a state of emergency due to rising cases of COVID-19. The Tokyo Games were postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shirgaonkar further stressed that India’s medal chances are extremely high with wrestlers and shooters at the forefront in the medals race.
“The athletes are doing a great job but they are also putting their lives (on the line) and are willing to compete, so we as the audience should do everything with respect and support for the athletes,” he opined.
Last week, IOC confirmed that Tokyo Games will happen despite public opposition. The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to take place from July 23- August 8.
In another development, Governors of Chiba and Kanagawa prefectures near Tokyo refused to allot beds for COVID-19 infected Olympians.
As per WHO’s latest update, Japan has 677,988 confirmed cases of COVID-19 till May 16. As many as 11, 463 people have succumbed to the virus since January last year. On Sunday, Japan reported 6,147 new cases.
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