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Are the Tokyo Olympics safe? Health experts are calling for a rethink


“For the game books, we are accessing different knowledge as the situation in Covid is very fluid and we will update the game books on a scientific basis,” said Muto, adding that test events built the information that was available to the Olympic organizers . “There are a lot of different sporting events going on and we learn from them and evaluate our second version based on our contributions from them.”

The IOC, which will be releasing the third and final iteration of its playbook next month, has denounced the partnership it entered into with WHO last year to increase confidence in the feasibility of its health protocols.

But Sparrow, a former advisor to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, and her three co-authors urged members of the health organization to convene emergency committee meetings ahead of the Tokyo Games, just as they did before the Rio 2016 Olympic Games amid widespread Zika virus outbreaks.

“There are issues related to participant safety that have not been fully addressed,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and another author of the magazine article. “You are only as strong as your weakest link.”

In Japan, where only a tiny fraction of the population has been vaccinated, protesters have taken their anger to the streets, including in a large demonstration in front of the National Stadium in Tokyo earlier this month. Prominent, outspoken critics of the country included Hiroshi Mikitani, founder of online retail giant Rakuten, who called the Olympics a “suicide mission,” and tech billionaire Masayoshi Son warned on twitter that Japan’s economy had far more to lose than Olympic officials.

In an online petition to cancel this year’s games, around 400,000 digital signatures were collected in a relatively short time. On Wednesday the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, official partner of the Olympic Games, took this position in an editorial calling on the Japanese Prime Minister to “review the situation and decide whether to cancel the event this summer. “



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