The vaccination of the athletes present in Tokyo is progressing. Two months before the Games, at least 75% of the residents of the Olympic Village “have already been vaccinated or are planning to do so” before their opening on July 23, said Wednesday, May 19 the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach.
“We have good reason to believe that this rate will rise well beyond 80%”, added the boss of the committee during an online meeting with the Japanese organizers of the Olympics.
The Olympic Village will have a capacity of 18,000 beds for the Olympic Games (scheduled for July 23 to August 8) and 8,000 for the Paralympic Games (August 24 to September 5).
The IOC is also ready to provide additional medical personnel for the Games, Bach said, as many Japanese people worry that the event will put even more pressure on the Japanese healthcare system. “The IOC proposed to the Organizing Committee to integrate additional medical staff into the NOC delegations [Comités nationaux olympiques, NDLR]”, said the German.
A staff who “will support medical operations and the strict implementation of anti-Covid measures in the Olympic Village and at Olympic venues”. Thomas Bach, however, did not give details on the number of people likely to be involved.
Tokyo-2020 President Seiko Hashimoto said organizers would accept the offer, adding that vaccination of participants “would be of great help in ensuring the security of the Games”.
With almost two months of the opening of the Olympics which had been postponed for a year in 2020 due to the pandemic, all the polls show that most Japanese want a new postponement or the cancellation of the event, while the still difficult health situation in the country.
Japan is currently suffering from a new wave of coronavirus infections and authorities are strongly criticized for the slow deployment of the national vaccination campaign.
But the organizers of the Games say that strict measures, including the ban on spectators coming from abroad enacted at the end of March, will ensure the safety of the event.