Tokyo Olympics: Japanese government’s covid advisor calls into question the Olympic Village

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Covid advisor to the Japanese government in this period of pandemic, virologist Hitoshi Oshitani pointed out the flaws in the organizing committee for the Tokyo Olympic Games on the health issue. For Oshitani, the Olympic Village is not designed to cope with the situation and the organizers “did not prepare for the worst”.

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Postponed for a year, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games were officially launched this Friday, after the traditional opening ceremony. In recent months, the health issue has inevitably preoccupied the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and local authorities.

Every day, since the arrival of the athletes and more generally of the various delegations, the organizers communicate the number of people positive for the coronavirus within the Olympic bubble. For the virologist Hitoshi Oshitani, a member of the Japanese government’s advisory group on the issue of Covid-19, all the precautions have not been taken.

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“I don’t think they are prepared for the worst”

“I don’t think the organizing committee did their best to minimize the risks. They just said the Olympics are safe without showing any strategy to minimize the risks, Oshitani said for The Age. They had more than a year after deciding the postponement. They knew they were going to organize these Olympics in the middle of a pandemic. But what did they do? I don’t think they are prepared for the worst case. “

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Since the arrival of the various delegations in Tokyo, more than 100 people relating to the Olympic Games have already tested positive for the coronavirus. But the organizing committee assured that the Olympic village would be a “safe place” for all vis-à-vis the health issue. But for Hitoshi Oshitani, there are therefore “many loopholes in the organization of these Games”, through which the virus could spread.

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“The Olympic Village is not designed to control infectious diseases,” Oshitani pointed out again. “So there is a risk and we have already seen many cases in the Olympic Village. It is not completely unexpected either. . ” For the government adviser, the problem remains especially in the message sent to the Japanese vis-à-vis the efforts to be made in a state of emergency caused by the health crisis. Several surveys in recent weeks have also indicated the hostility of part of the local population to host this event in this health context.

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