Calls for Olympics Cancellation Increase

Logo of 2012 Summer Olympic in London / JWS

The fate of the Tokyo Olympics is once again in doubt.

The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association has now called for the cancelation of the games as COVID-19 cases continue to surge, stating that they “have their hands full and have almost no spare capacity.” The organization represents roughly 6,000 primary care doctors.

In a poll released Monday by the Asahi Shimbun, 83% of voters in a nationwide survey said the Olympics should be postponed or scrapped. 

The ratio of those who want the event to be held this summer has halved, with only 14% saying that the Olympics should be held, down from 28% in April. 

A petition urging the cancellation of the Olympics was submitted to organizers on May 14, with over 350,000 signatures.

In a 12-minute address on Wednesday, IOC President Thomas Bach offered to have added medical personnel available to help out when the games open. He also reassured the Japanese public and athletes coming to Tokyo that the Olympics would be “safe and secure” even in the midst of a pandemic. 

“For obvious reasons we cannot give them (athletes) every detail yet, but the most important principle is very clear: the Olympic Village is a safe place and the Olympic and Paralympic Games will be organized in a safe way,” Bach said, per the Associated Press

Bach noted that the anticipated vaccination rate of those staying in the Olympic Village is set to be above 80%. Currently, between 1-2% of Japanese are fully vaccinated. 

Tokyo reported 843 new coronavirus cases yesterday, up 77 from Wednesday and bringing the nationwide tally for the day to over 5,700.