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Top Japanese virologist warns of risks of Tokyo Games during COVID-19 pandemic: Report

Top Japanese virologist warns of risks of Tokyo Games during COVID-19 pandemic: Report

8/6/2021 6:42:00 AM

Top Japanese virologist warns of risks of Tokyo Games during COVID-19 pandemic: Report

A top Japanese virologist and government adviser has warned of the risks of spreading COVID-19 infections during the Tokyo Olympics , the Times of ...

BookmarkTOKYO: A top Japanese virologist and government adviser has warned of the risks of spreading COVID-19 infections during the Tokyo Olympics, the Times of London reported on Tuesday (Jun 8) the latest high-profile caveat about the global sporting showpiece.

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Tohoku University professor Hiroshi Oshitani was an architect of Japan's"Three Cs” approach to the pandemic, which advises avoiding closed spaces, crowds and close contact situations.AdvertisementAdvertisement“The government and the organising committee, including the IOC (International Olympic Committee), keep saying they’re holding a safe Olympics. But everybody knows there is a risk. It’s 100 per cent impossible to have an Olympics with zero risk ... of the spread of infection in Japan and also in other countries after the Olympics," the Times quoted Oshitani as telling the newspaper.

READ: Half of Japanese predict Olympics will happen this year, poll shows"There are a number of countries that do not have many cases, and a number that don’t have any variants. We should not make the Olympics (an occasion) to spread the virus to these countries," he added, noting most countries lack vaccines. headtopics.com

Already postponed from last year because of the pandemic, a scaled-down version of the Games with no foreign spectators is set to start on Jul 23 despite public fears the event could spread the coronavirus and drain medical resources.AdvertisementAdvertisement

Japan has not suffered the explosive outbreak seen elsewhere but has recorded nearly 760,000 cases and more than 13,500 deaths. Tokyo and other regions are under a state of emergency after a fourth wave hit, straining hospitals.The government's top medical adviser, Shigeru Omi, said last week medical experts planned a statement on the Games by Jun 20, when the state of emergency is set to be lifted.

A labour union in the northern island of Hokkaido, where the Olympic marathon will be held, petitioned its governor on Monday calling for the Games to be cancelled, media said.AdvertisementJapanese Olympic Committee board member Kaori Yamaguchi, a judo bronze medallist at the 1988 Games, said on Friday Japan had been"cornered" into pressing ahead with the Games.

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