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Tokyo Olympics 2021: Information on COVID-19 Measures, Vaccination Programs, and Protocols

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Now in 2021, there will be Olympic games in Tokyo finally after postponing a year from 2020. The Olympic games cost almost 15.4 billion US dollars this time and the efforts of many people from different countries. Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has not ended.

There are now only 100 days before the summer Olympics’ opening ceremony. The games will start on July 23, 2021, and will finish on August 8. There will be Paralympics between August and September.

People are in doubt as they have few significant queries about the current Covid-19 situation. Vaccination is still in process and a long way to reach the maximum number of people worldwide. Many are apprehensive about the Olympic games authorities approach.

Things to consider as only 100 days left for the summer Olympics

Japan experienced over 9500 deaths till Wednesday for Covid-19 infection. The death toll is over 557,000 in the US. Now the Olympics are around the corner. The Covid-19 vaccination program has not been going well in the United States. The vaccination rate is significantly low there.

Japan Times reported that their country received 1.1 m COVID-19 vaccines first shot till Friday. This population is below the total population’s one percent. Japan did not even start till Monday to vaccinate senior citizens. They comprise 29% of the total population in Japan. It seems vaccines would be hardly available widely for the population in Japan even till summer ends.

The United States prioritized giving vaccination to senior citizens. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control announced that their country’s 47% adult residents had received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Japan is again seeing a possibility of fourth wave Covid-19 infection since March. The Tokyo administration will put stricter safety measures from May 11 to control this new surge. Over 3,300 Covid-19 infected patients have been newly reported last Wednesday, WHO stated.

What is the opinion of the Japanese regarding the Tokyo Olympics taking place in the Covid-19 situation?

There are public opinion polls that suggest people are afraid that Olympic games will take place in their country.

Kyodo News’ recently conducted a poll which reported on Monday that among 72% of respondents, 39.2% do not prefer the Olympic games taking place in these troubled times in their country. 32.8% of respondents thought authorities should reschedule the games. Then again, about 25% of respondents would prefer to experience Olympic games in their country as scheduled.

Olympic athletes will not get vaccinated

The International Olympics committee said that the athletes would not receive vaccines before the competition in the summer. Thomas Bach, the President of IOC, said though that athlete should take the vaccines.

He added that the committee was very transparent because they would not like to force any athletes to vaccinate themselves. IOC will coordinate with national committees of different countries to start the vaccination of their athletes in accordance with prescribed guidelines.

The IOC and Olympic committee of China entered an agreement to supply vaccines to the athletes of the Tokyo Olympics.

The protocols to fight Covid-19 in the Olympic games, Tokyo

Games’ organizers from Tokyo released playbooks that described Covid-19 protocols to athletes, Olympic volunteers, and games attendees. The latest updated book is soon going to come as the Olympics are coming close.

The IOC has not yet released the details of the Olympics. However, they instructed that athletes are going to stay shorter time in Olympic villages this year. There will be conducting mass Covid-19 test among the athletes too.

Tokyo Olympics’ opening ceremony and the closing ceremony will also be less extravagant. Authorities want to avoid mass gatherings to prevent infection of Covid-19.

Point of view of the USA team

USA team, Paralympic, and Olympic committee said they would go by Tokyo’s playbook protocols. The USA will provide absolute cooperation to Japan’s government and take up its safety measures to ensure zero or minor infection.

The USOPC also suggested that Olympics athletes should receive vaccinations. Although there is no tracking on how many athletes are getting the vaccination before the summer Olympics. Most US athletes were present last week at a press event hosted for the days. They told the press that they had already received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccines or were planning to get vaccinated before the Tokyo Olympics.

Audience from around the globe will have to miss Tokyo Olympics

Olympic authorities informed that the international audience would have to miss this year’s Olympics. There is no doubt that the absence will affect the spirit of the Tokyo Olympic Games. The tourism industry of Japan will also face loss due to this decision. The USOPC said that US athletes could not perform in the presence of their family and friends due to this decision.

Japanese residents will probably get to experience the games physically. However, there is no confirmation from the Tokyo Olympics authority or IOC yet about the legal audience capacity at the venues.

Covid-19 not intending end, Tokyo Olympics’ future is still in doubt

The world is in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. Thus, no one can presume the near future. Health researchers, scientists, and experts have expressed concern about the coming Tokyo Olympics. They think the event might spike the number of infections not only in Japan but also worldwide.

An expert on infectious diseases from Keiyu Hospital, Japan, Norio Sugaya, said that Japan should not organize Tokyo Olympics this year. It involved a whole lot of risks. 

Olympic organizers are giving any consideration to cancel the games. They decided to go forward as planned.

They said they are working very hard to make the games happen with all the needed safety measures.

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