Dr. Naoto Uyama, president of the Japan Doctors Union, said the International Olympic Committee and the Japanese government had underestimated the risks of bringing 15,000 Olympic and Paralympic athletes into the country, including thousands of officials, judges, media and broadcasters. In more than 200 countries and regions.
Speaking in Tokyo at Japan’s Foreign Correspondents Club, he said, “Since the emergence of Kovid-19, there has not been such a dangerous mobilization of people from many different places around the world.” “It is very difficult to predict what might happen from this.”
Uyama consistently compared the virus to a “traditional war” situation, and said he was speaking from his own experience as a hospital doctor who works outside of Tokyo. He has not been involved in any plan for the Olympics.
“I think the key here is that if this results in a new mutant strain of the virus, then the Olympics,” he said.
The IOC and local organizers say they have been dependent on the World Health Organization for public health guidance. They say the Olympics and Paralympics will be “safe and secure”, with extensive trials, strict protocols, social disturbances and a focus on keeping athletes largely isolated in the Olympic Village along Tokyo Bay.
The IOC has said that it expects more than 80% of the people living in the village to be vaccinated. This is in contrast to the very slow rollout in Japan where less than 5% of the public has been vaccinated.
Uyama, who heads the institution representing 130 physicians, joins Japan with other medical experts to protest against holding the Olympics. On Wednesday, Japan’s mass-circulation Asahi Shimbun newspaper called for the cancellation of the Olympics.
Earlier this week, the New England Journal of Medicine said in a comment: “We believe the IOC’s determination to move forward with the Olympic Games has not been informed by the best scientific evidence.”
It questioned the IOC’s so-called Playbooks, which rules in sports for athletes, staff, media and others. The final version will be published next month.
The publication wrote, “IOC’s playbooks are not built on scientifically rigorous risk assessments, and they fail to consider risk avenues, which factors contribute to risk, and which participants are most at risk Can. “
In an editorial last month, the British Medical Journal asked the organizers to “reconsider” the holding of the Olympics amid the epidemic.
“Such a decision (of organizing the Olympics) is not something to be taken only by the IOC or by only one host country,” he said. “I am an Olympic fan. However, I do not think they should go on to endanger many people or call many people to make sacrifices in relation to their lives so that they can take place.”
“The Olympic Games here in Tokyo are dangerous,” said Uyama.
He stressed that what others have said – holding the Olympics will bring Japan’s medical system under more stress. There are emergency orders in Tokyo, Osaka and other parts of Japan that may be extended after the end of May 31.
“It will not be possible for hospitals to provide any special treatment for those involved in the Olympics,” he said. “They will be treated the same as those available to Japanese people under the same rules.”
More than 12,000 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in Japan, which is worse than other parts of Asia according to global standards. Many of those deaths have occurred in the last few months as new cases spread rapidly.
Japan has officially spent $ 15.4 billion to organize the Olympics, although government audits say it could be much higher. All are public funds except $ 6.7 billion.
The IOC relies on selling broadcast rights for 75% of its income. It stands to generate an estimated $ 2-3 billion from TV rights in Tokyo, regardless of whether fans are allowed to participate.
So far there will be a ban on fans coming from abroad and next month the organizers will ask if a local fan can join it.
Canadian senior IOC member Richard Pound is speaking almost daily, focusing on convincing Japanese and global audiences that the Olympics will not be canceled. He told the Japanese magazine Banshun this week that the Games would be held.
His interview was translated from English to Japanese.
In an interview this week in London’s Evening Standard, Pound said: “The organizers have now switched gears and are in the operational part of it. Except for Armageddon which we cannot see or guess, these things are at once. . “
Uyama was infuriated at the comments.
The doctor said, “Olympic games are not something that should be held even up to Armageddon. The question is for whom and for what purpose are the Olympics happening? I don’t think anyone can make that. . Have any understanding of these questions in the statement. “
More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/olympic-games and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports