The ‘Mark of Success’ for the Olympics, according to WHO Director, will be a reduction in COVID spread rather than zero cases.
The World Health Organization’s director general stated that minimizing the spread of COVID-19 cases, rather than removing the risk entirely, should be the “mark of success” for Olympic officials.
“The measure of success is ensuring that any cases are discovered, separated, traced, and cared for as promptly as possible, and that onward transmission is interrupted,” Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, told the International Olympic Committee. “In the next two weeks, zero cases will not be the mark of success.”
COVID-19 has already been detected in a number of athletes, both at home and abroad, indicating that the Olympics cannot aspire for zero cases. To combat the spread of the disease, measures have been adopted, including a spectator ban in Olympic venues.
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On Wednesday, the number of COVID-19 cases related to the Games in Japan reached 79, with more international competitors testing positive at home and unable to travel.
Tedros mentioned the athletes who have already tested positive in Japan, including those staying at the athletes village in Tokyo Bay, where the majority of the 11,000 competitors will be staying.
Teammates who are classified as close contacts of affected athletes can continue to train and prepare for tournaments while being isolated and monitored.
Health experts in Japan have warned that the Olympics might turn into a “super-spreader” event, bringing tens of thousands of athletes, officials, and workers to a disaster-stricken area.
“There is no such thing as a zero risk in life,” Tedros stated in his keynote speech, which began minutes after the first softball game in Fukushima began, and adding that Japan was “giving bravery to the entire world.”
The WHO director-general also had a harsher message and a challenge for leaders of wealthier nations to share vaccines more evenly around the world.
“The pandemic is a test, and the world is failing,” Tedros stated, predicting that COVID-19 will kill more than 100,000 people globally before the Olympic flame is extinguished in Tokyo on August 8.
He called it a “horrifying injustice” that only ten countries have received 75 percent of the vaccine injections distributed internationally so far.
Anyone who thought the pandemic was gone because it was under control in their region of the world was living in “a fool’s paradise,” Tedros said.
Next year, the globe will need to manufacture 11 billion doses. This is a condensed version of the information.