Tokyo 2020 Olympics: WHO chief says Games cannot do without zero COVID-19 cases

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO)

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), said the success of the Games depends on how infections are treated.
Image credit: AFP

Tokyo: The Tokyo Olympics should not be judged on the tally of COVID-19 cases that arise because elimination of the risks is impossible, the head of the World Health Organization told sports officials on Wednesday as events were starting in Japan.

How infections are managed is what matters most, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a speech at a meeting of the International Olympic Committee.

“The mark of success is to ensure that all cases are identified, isolated, located and treated as quickly as possible and that transmission is interrupted,” he said.

The number of Games-related COVID-19 cases in Japan this month was 79 on Wednesday, with more international athletes testing positive at home and unable to travel.

“The mark of success in the next fortnight is not zero cases,” said Tedros, noting athletes who have already tested positive in Japan, including at the Tokyo Bay Athletes’ Village, where the Most of the 11,000 competitors will stay.

Teammates classified as close contacts of infected athletes can continue to train and prepare for events under a regime of isolation and additional surveillance.

Health experts in Japan have warned that the Olympics will become a mass-market event bringing together tens of thousands of athletes, officials and workers during a local state of emergency.

“There is no zero risk in life,” said Tedros, who began his keynote address minutes after the first softball game started in Fukushima, and added that Japan “gives the world courage. integer “.

The WHO leader also had a more critical message and a challenge for leaders in richer countries regarding more equitable sharing of vaccines around the world.

“The pandemic is a test and the world is failing,” Tedros said, predicting more than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths around the world before the Olympic flame went out in Tokyo on August 8.

It was a “horrible injustice”, he said, that 75% of the vaccines given in the world to date have been given in just 10 countries.

Tedros warned anyone who thought the pandemic was over because it was under control in their part of the world living in “ a paradise for fools. ”

Add a Comment