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Japan’s Top Covid Adviser Calls For Tokyo Olympics To Be Held Without Spectators

Japan’s Top Covid Adviser Calls For Tokyo Olympics To Be Held Without Spectators

6/18/2021 10:45:00 AM

Japan’s Top Covid Adviser Calls For Tokyo Olympics To Be Held Without Spectators

Infectious disease official Shigeru Omi said holding the games without spectators would be the most effective way of reducing the risk of a fresh outbreak.

ToplineThe Japanese government’s top Covid adviser on Friday said holding the Tokyo Olympics without spectators is “desirable” as it would lower the risk of a fresh outbreak in the country, a move that appears to push back against growing expectation that the government may allow domestic spectators at the summer games.

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Shigeru Omi, the Japanese government's top Covid adviser, said holding the games without spectators... [+]would be the most effective way of preveting another outbreak.Getty ImagesKey FactsOn Friday, Shigeru Omi, Japan’s top infectious disease official and head of its Covid taskforce, submitted a set of proposals to the government and the Tokyo games’ organizing committee on Friday.

theJapan Times, the government may ignore the advisory committee’s recommendations as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Thursday said he wanted domestic spectators at the summer’s Olympic and Paralympic games.If the government decides to allow spectators, Omi and other experts have urged it to set a stricter attendance cap than the upper limit that has currently been decided for large events in Japan, headtopics.com

Kyodo Newsreported.In regions where Covid restrictions are fully lifted, the government’s new rules allow up to 10,000 spectators or 50% capacity—whichever is lower—to attend large events such as sports games and concerts and many expect the cap to be similar for Olympic venues.

The expert committee submitted their opinions voluntarily over concerns that the Olympics could trigger another Covid surge as the games are set to coincide with Japan’s summer holidays,Kyodo’sAccording toNikkei, Japan’s Olympics Minister Tamayo Marukawa told the media on Friday that the domestic spectator limit at the Tokyo Games will be determined this month and it “will not exceed” the 10,000 people cap the government has placed on other large events.

Tangentsaidshe has received the recommendations but noted that any attendance cap will be in line with the government’s policy. Hidemasa Nakamura, Tokyo 2020’s games delivery officer, told reporters that the number of overseas officials attending the games this year will be 41,000, which is one-third of the original estimate. He added that the International Olympic Committee has offered an additional 100 medical staff to work at a clinic in the Olympic Village and other medical facilities for the games, which appears to follow up on a

made by IOC President Thomas Bach.Key BackgroundJapan is set to ease its Covid-19 state of emergency in the capital and eight other prefectures starting Monday as new cases continue to decline. Despite this, however, experts have called for caution, warning that the Olympics could turn into a super spreader event. One group of experts headtopics.com

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released a simulationearlier this week showing a possible upsurge in infections during the Olympics. On Thursday, Health Minister Norihisa Tamura told reporters that the government will not hesitate in issuing a state of emergency during the Olympics to protect people’s lives and health. However, in such a scenario the decision to cancel or postpone the games will rest solely with the International Olympics Committee (IOC), Tamura added. The Japanese government is expected to make its final decision on spectators at the Olympics before the end of this month. If the government decides to go ahead with a 10,000 spectator cap, the organizing committee will

hold a lottery for existing ticket holders—who had purchased tickets before the pandemic led to the games being postponed—for some events to determine who will be allowed to enter. Read more: Forbes »

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