In spite of growing fears surrounding the potential spread of the coronavirus at the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan’s ambassador to Namibia, Hideaki Harada assured Namibian Olympians and Paralympians that the government of Japan and its Olympic committee are determined to host a “safe and secure” 2020 Olympics in that country. Speaking at an event held over the weekend in Windhoek, Harada said Japan has taken all necessary measures against Covid-19 to ensure the prestigious event is held safe and successfully.
“Despite the various opinions regarding the holding of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games in light of the current Covid-19 situation in Japan, the government of Japan and the Japanese Olympic committee are both determined and preparing to go ahead with the prestigious international
event,” he noted.
“Japan has taken all necessary preparation and countermeasures against Covid-19 to have safe
and successful Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is to ensure that all participating athletes can achieve their results.”
Last month, the head of a Japanese doctors’ union said holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo over the summer, with tens of thousands of people from around the world, could lead to the emergence of an “Olympic” coronavirus strain.
Recently, international media reported that an estimated 10 000 unpaid volunteers told organisers they will no longer be participating in the Summer Games. According to a report from the Associated Press, organisers believe that many dropped out due to fears of contracting Covid-19.
Currently, an estimated 2-3% of the Japanese population is
fully vaccinated. However, International Olympic Committee experts believe that at least 80%
of athletes and residents of the Olympic Village will be fully vaccinated when the Tokyo Olympics get underway.
Harada further stated that as part of their strategies to minimise the spread of the deadly Covid-19, movements of athletes will be limited. “As part of the Covid-19 protocols in Japan, the movement of athletes will, unfortunately,
be limited. In that regard, they
will not be allowed to leave the Olympic Village and will be
limited to round trips between the stadium and Olympic Village throughout their stay in Japan.”