The Star Late Edition
Safety first for Olympics
THE International Olympic Committee (IOC) would continue to “work with full engagement” towards a safe Olympics, an IOC spokesperson said.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said this week: “We must first prevent the spread of the virus.” Suga’s government is under fierce criticism over its handling of the pandemic.
An IOC spokesperson said: “The IOC has initiated an already very successful vaccination programme for the national delegations coming to Japan. This will ensure that the vast majority of the residents of the Olympic Village will arrive in Japan vaccinated.”
So far Japan has only managed to vaccinate 240000 of those aged 65 or older with the second of their two jabs.
In the following two weeks, the government said it would deliver enough vaccines to local municipalities to inoculate 9 million seniors, with all 36 million of this demographic having the requisite amount of vaccine doses by the end of June.
Tokyo is under an extended state of emergency until the end of May, and organisers said that IOC president Thomas Bach’s visit to Japan on May 17 and 18 has been postponed. An opinion poll by the Yomiuri Shimbun daily showed nearly 60% of people in Japan want the Games cancelled.
Tokyo 2020, postponed by a year due to the pandemic, is to take place from July 23 to August 8.