Doctors in Tokyo discourage conducting Olympic Games; call for cancellation

The Tokyo Olympics are just two months away, but there are still a lot of doubts that remain over whether it is safe to hold the Games amid the pandemic.

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Tokyo Olympics
Tokyo Olympics

The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association has presently requested for the cancellation of the Tokyo Olympic Games as the hospitals are incapacitated to provide medical assistance for their own citizens amidst the surge of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Japan.

The Tokyo Olympics was previously set to take place in the year 2020 which was postponed due to arrival of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. But the International Olympic Committee along with the Japanese government assured that Tokyo Olympics shall take place this year on July 23, 2021 even as the pandemic and other costs due to delays have already led to the cost reaching $2.8 billion and the same is expected to rise to $15.8 billion.

But things did not go as anticipated earlier. The fourth wave of the novel Coronavirus was more deadly than the previous waves as it resulted in an average of 6000 people last week. Subsequently more than 80% of the Japanese population voiced out their opposition against conducting the Historic Olympic event in Tokyo along with the Prime minister of Japan who has said “never put Olympics first”. An online petition titled “Cancel the Tokyo Olympics to protect our lives” initiated by a prominent lawyer Kenji Utsunomiya, was signed by 3,51,000 Japanese people.

Presently, the Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association have also joined their hands to the voices of the majority of the Japanese population to Cancel the Tokyo Olympics according to Reuters. The 6,000 primary care doctors represented association opened up that the hospitals of the host city-Tokyo “have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity” amid a surge in infections.

Previously more than 40 Japanese towns have withdrawn themselves from hosting the overseas Olympic athletes as they are incapacitated of hospitalizing the foreign guests in such difficult and risky situation.

Japanese PM says country does not possess the ‘luxury of hosting’ the Olympic Games

Japan PM Yoshihide Suga
Japan PM Yoshihide Suga

Meanwhile the Japanese Prime Minister, who has been in favour of prioritizing the nationals over games has once again requested the International Olympic Committee to Cancel the Olympic event as in present circumstances, according to him, Japan no more possess the Luxury of Hosting the Tokyo Olympics-2021.

The open letter by Yoshihide Suga on May 14, 2021 requesting for Cancellation of the games read as: “We strongly request that the authorities convince the IOC that holding the Olympics is difficult and obtain its decision to cancel the Games.”

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare reported a confirmation of a total 687,825 positive cases in Japan as of May 18, 2021. Even a large proportion of doctors and medical assistants have been victimized to the novel coronavirus leaving the hospitals with a huge shortage of medical assistance. Meanwhile, there is no vacancy for the existing COVID-19 cases in the hospitals all over Japan the medical institutions with no option but to join their hands with other organizations to voice out for the cancellation of the games.

Followingly, the Medical association has also opened up in it’s letter that “The medical institutions dealing with COVID-19 have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity. Doctors would soon face the added difficulty of dealing with heat exhaustion patients during the summer months, and if the Olympics contributed to a rise in deaths “Japan will bear the maximum responsibility.”

It is also to be noted that Japan currently has the lowest vaccination rate in the world with only about 3.5% of the entire countries population of 126 million, being vaccinated which constitutes only 1% being provided with both dosages. The recent initiative for online booking for vaccination was posted in Tokyo and Osaka but encountered technical glitches which delayed the vaccination process.

But the hard work of the aspiring athletes from various world countries who are dreaming to showcase their lifetime talent in the much awaited Tokyo Olympics is currently at stake even with the arrival of fourth wave of COVID-19 in Japan. If the IOC still wants to go on with the Tokyo Olympics as scheduled, Prime Minister Suga has still made assurances that Japan can host “a safe and secure Olympics” while following appropriate COVID-19 containment measures.

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