Tokyo (AP) — The pressure to host the Olympics during a still active pandemic is beginning to emerge in Japan. The game will start on July 23rd and the organizers will decide to continue even if the number of spectators is reduced or not at all. Japan has made tremendous progress in immunizing COVID-19, but
Tokyo (AP) — The pressure to host the Olympics during a still active pandemic is beginning to emerge in Japan.
The game will start on July 23rd and the organizers will decide to continue even if the number of spectators is reduced or not at all. Japan has made tremendous progress in immunizing COVID-19, but the drive is losing momentum due to supply shortages.
Tens of thousands of visitors to a completely unvaccinated country create border control gaps, detect infections in newly arrived teams from Uganda, and test positive for highly contagious delta mutants became.
I’m worried that the game will spread the virus as the number of incidents increases in Tokyo.
On July 1, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters, “I will be vigilant,” and “there may be no spectators.”
Seiko Hashimoto, chairman of the Tokyo Organizing Committee, also agreed.
“I’m not determined to have an audience regardless of the situation,” Hashimoto said on Friday.
Due to the rapidly changing situation of coronavirus, organizers, the International Olympic Committee and others will meet this week to announce new restrictions.
In criticism, Suga went to check for viruses to arrive at Haneda International Airport in Tokyo on June 28th. He vowed to ensure proper border control as more and more Olympic and Paralympic athletes, officials and the media began to enter Japan for the game.
Tokyo confirmed 342 new cases on Monday, increasing for 16 consecutive days. On Saturday, the capital reported 716 cases. This is the best in 5 weeks.
At a government advisory board, experts warned of a possible outbreak of infection during the game, predicting more than 1,000 cases per day. They said it would put a serious burden on the health care system. In the worst-case scenario, they said, thousands of infections could occur each day and hospitals could overflow.
Ryuji Wakita, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and head of the government’s COVID-19 Advisory Committee, detected the arrival of infected people at the airport to prevent the infection from spreading from Tokyo to the suburbs. Called for stricter border control to segregate.
In a shocking incident in Japan, Ugandan team members tested positive when they arrived at Narita International Airport on June 19, and were quarantined there. The remaining nine teams were allowed to travel more than 500 km (300 miles) to the pre-Olympic camp in western Osaka by chartered bus.
A few days later, a second member of the East African team tested positive for the virus, forcing seven town officials and drivers in close contact with them to self-quarantine. The team itself is isolated at the hotel. Health officials said both infected Ugandans had the delta variant.
On Saturday, Serbian athletes also tested positive, canceling team training in the central city of Nantes. The government also admits that the other four who arrived at the Olympics tested positive after entering the country earlier this year.
According to experts, these incidents show that health care at the Japanese border can easily be broken.
Hirofumi Yoshimura, the governor of Osaka Prefecture, said at a recent local governor’s meeting that the leaders had adopted an urgent request. Tighter border control.
Based on the revised guidelines on health measures sent to the 530 municipalities hosting the Olympic training, airport officials quarantined the entire group if the members tested positive, and on July 12, the athlete’s village Stay at the designated facility until it opens. Train and quarantine until you pass contact tracking and virus testing.
Dozens of cities in Japan have canceled hosting arrangements due to concerns about viruses, and many have decided to use their facilities as vaccination sites.
In Tokyo, the infection spreads to middle-aged and older people who are rarely vaccinated. According to experts, more serious cases requiring hospitalization have gradually replaced the elderly, 26% of whom are now fully vaccinated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Our World in Data, Japan’s complete vaccination rate is 13.8%, slightly above the global average of 11.3%, but lower than the US’s 47.4% and the UK’s 49.5%. ..
In addition to concerns, there are uncertainties about Japan’s vaccination campaign.
Workplace vaccination began in mid-June, with thousands of companies applying for vaccination of their employees. However, the government has since stopped accepting new applications indefinitely for workplaces and large vaccination sites due to tight vaccine supplies.
“Progress has exceeded our expectations,” said Vaccination Minister Taro Kono, who said daily shots are likely to reach more than 1.2 million. He said he would receive only one-third of the Pfizer-BioNTech Pfizer vaccine supply that Japan wanted to receive by late July.
Kamon Iizumi, the governor of Tokushima Prefecture, who is also the chairman of the National Governors Association, said the slowdown “has spread turmoil throughout Japan.”
The vaccination center in Kagawa Prefecture had to suspend vaccinations for 30,000 people, and plans for 6,500 companies were put on hold in Gifu City, central Japan. Other areas, including parts of Osaka, Kobe and Tokyo, have also been forced to suspend planned vaccinations starting this week.
Yukio Takano, the mayor of Toyoshima, Tokyo, said, “What a disappointment.” “We have worked hard to accelerate the rollout, and now we have to brake … what was in a hurry?”
Japan began vaccination of health care workers in mid-February and vaccination of the elderly in mid-April. Despite initial delays due to reservation delays and shortages, staff are working to stabilize vaccine imports and achieve the key goal of fully immunizing all 36 million older people by the end of July. The pace increased in mid-May, when it was secured.
Suga established a military-run mass vaccination center in late May, adding workplace and university campus locations to accelerate progress.
On June 21, Japan took less stringent steps to mitigate a third emergency and focus on shortening business hours at bars and restaurants in Tokyo and other metropolitan areas until July 11. I did.
However, experts suggest that another urgent declaration may be required for the resurrection during the Olympics. If so, the organizer may need to reconsider the current limit of 10,000 or 50% capacity at the venue, perhaps to exclude all spectators.
Kengo Sakurada, president of SOMPO Holdings and head of the influential business lobby, said on June 30 that current immunization rates are not sufficient to host a safe Olympics.
He said he supported the lack of spectators at the event, as the damage caused by the worse outbreaks was much greater.
“I will take a safer option,” he said.
Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi.
Source link As the Tokyo Olympics approach, concerns about viruses increase in Japan
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