Japan's top health experts urge organisers to scale down Tokyo Olympics due to COVID-19

abc.net.au -- Jun 19
A report on how to hold the Tokyo Olympics safely, drawn up by Japan's top health experts, says it is important to scale down the size of the Games as much as possible.

Japan's top medical experts warned on Friday that holding the Olympics during the COVID-19 pandemic could increase infections, and said banning all spectators was the least risky option, setting up a possible collision with organisers.

The report, led by top health adviser Shigeru Omi, was released after Tokyo 2020's organising committee chief said she wanted to allow up to 10,000 spectators at stadiums for the global sport extravaganza.

Japan is pushing ahead with hosting the Games, which kick off on July 23, despite worries about another surge in COVID-19 infections and strong public opposition, but organisers have banned overseas spectators.

"This event is different from ordinary sports events in scale and social interest and because it overlaps with summer vacations … there is a risk the movement of people and opportunities to interact during the Olympics will spread infections and strain the medical system," the report said.

"Holding with Games without spectators is the least risky option and we think desirable."

A final decision on domestic spectators will be made at a meeting to be held as early as Monday among Tokyo 2020 organisers, the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Japanese government and Tokyo Metropolitan government.

- abc.net.au

新型コロナ分科会の尾身茂会長らは18日、東京オリンピック・パラリンピックについて「無観客の開催が望ましい」などとする提言をまとめました。 - ANNnewsCH