Tokyo Olympics: Japan’s top COVID-19 advisor says fate of Olympics needs scrutiny

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Tokyo Olympics: Japan’s top COVID-19 advisor says fate of Olympics needs scrutiny- With just 8 weeks left, the Organizers of Tokyo Olympics should decide whether the Tokyo Games should go ahead after scrutinizing the impact they may have on Japan’s medical system, Japan’s top COVID-19 advisor said Shigeru Omi said on Friday.

Shigeru Omi is head of the Japanese government’s coronavirus subcommittee.

His call comes amid a shortage of hospital beds and medical staffs in Japan during a state of emergency. The new wave of infections is driven by mutant variants.

While addressing a question from an opposition lawmaker in the parliamentary committee, he said that it is the responsibility of the organising committee to decide whether Japan can host the Olympics and Paralympics.

He said, “The decision cannot be made at the last minute.”

With just a couple of months left for the opening ceremony of Tokyo Olympics, the organizers have faced public outcry against staging the Tokyo Games in the middle of the pandemic. They feel that the Olympics could further overstretch Japan’s healthcare system.

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Earlier this, Japan extended the state of emergency which is scheduled to end of May 31 but the experts have called for another extension as the COVID-19 situation in the country is far from over.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the organizing committee will conclude a three-day virtual meet to discuss the preparation of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Later today, John Coates who is head of IOC Coordination Committee will hold a press conference with Seiko Hashimoto, president of the Japanese organizing body.

The Tokyo Olympics will involve as many as 15,000 athletes from around the world for the Olympics and Paralympics but a number of teams have already abandoned plans to train in Japan amid the coronavirus situation.

Adding to woes, 59 municipalities across Japan have given up on plans to host athletes for pre-Olympic training camps and cultural exchanges, the government said on Friday. A total of 528 municipalities had registered to welcome athletes from 184 countries and regions for the Tokyo Olympics at the end of April.

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