Japanese doctors Tuesday called for the suspension of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games because the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country could get much worse.
We think that cancelling an event that has the potential to increase the number of infections and deaths is the right decision, the Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association said in a statement.
The association, which brings together nearly 6,000 physicians, pointed out that reserving hospital beds for athletes would not correspond to the Olympic Charter, and firmly appealed to the Japanese government, the city of Tokyo and the organizers of the Games to request the suspension of the event from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Last week, a union of Japanese hospital doctors had already deemed it impossible to organize the Olympic Games in complete safety at a time when people around the world are fighting against the coronavirus.
With the Games scheduled for July 23 to August 8, after its postponement last year due to the pandemic, the Japanese population is massively in favour of a new postponement or cancellation, according to all polls.
But the organizers keep repeating that very strict anti-virus measures and the prohibition of spectators from abroad will allow the Olympic Games to be held in total safety.
The Tokyo 2020 organizing committee announced on Tuesday that it had received 395 applications from sports doctors, volunteers to help, twice as many candidates as expected.
Tokyo-2020 had confirmed at the end of April that it had also requested the services of 500 Japanese nurses for the event, an initiative that had provoked intense criticism in Japan.
Relatively less affected by the pandemic compared to other countries, with some 11,500 deaths officially recorded at the beginning of 2020, Japan nevertheless suffers a resurgence of cases of covid-19, which last week forced authorities to expand the state of urgency imposed in a part of the country until May 31.
The government has been criticized for the slowness of its vaccination program when just over 1% of the population received the two doses of Pfizer / BioNTech, the only one authorized so far in the country.