Naoto Oyama, the leader of the union that represents Japanese doctors, has warned that holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer could lead to the emergence of a new type of Covid-19. According to Reuters, the fact that tens of thousands of people are heading to Tokyo to attend the event, which was already postponed last year, may increase the number of cases and spawn a new variant.
“All the different mutations of the virus present in different sites will be concentrated and gathered in Tokyo. We cannot deny the possibility of a new type of virus emerging,” the doctor said at a press conference.
Reuters quoted the doctor as saying, “In the event that such a situation arises, this means that a different version of the Tokyo Games can be called that, which will be a great tragedy and something that can be criticized, even for 100 years.” . The emergence of new variants is a source of concern for health professionals: over the past few months, many variants have emerged, such as the British, South African, Brazilian or even the Indian variant. Various mutations have prompted the virus to alert, and in many cases driven by a greater degree of infection.
After Ueyama’s remarks, Kenji Shibuya, director of the Institute of Public Health at King’s College in London, downplayed the potential stakes of the games. This professional was helping Japan with its COVID-19 vaccination campaign. “Mutations occur when the virus remains in people who are immunocompromised or partially immunized for a long period of time. So the current situation in Japan is more serious than that during the Tokyo Games, in my opinion,” he said.
Japan has already confirmed on several occasions that it will host the event, and has promised “safe” games. However, the country is facing a fourth wave of infections, as it prepares to prolong the state of emergency prevailing in most parts of the country. Official sources indicated that the state of emergency may continue during the current month of June.
In addition to the Japanese authorities, the Games organization itself and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have already stated that the sporting event will actually take place.
The organization announced that there would be no foreign spectators; As for the local viewers present at the event, there will only be a tangible decision next month.
The Olympic Games, the largest sporting event, gathers delegations and athletes from more than 200 countries. The event is scheduled for July 23. The event has been postponed in 2020 due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.