A Japanese doctor is concerned that the Tokyo Olympics may result in the emergence of a new mutant COVID-19 strain.
According to the Associated Press, a Japanese physician has warned the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Japanese government that hosting the Olympics could lead to increased exposure to new coronavirus strains discovered in the United Kingdom, Brazil, India, and South Africa.
Dr. Naoto Ueyama, speaking at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan in Tokyo, remarked, “There has not been such a perilous gathering of people coming together in one place from so many different regions throughout the world since the creation of COVID-19.” What this could lead to is really impossible to predict.”
He stated that Tokyo would be unable to grant any special treatment to people participating in the Olympics. “They will receive the same treatment as the Japanese people and will be subjected to the same rules.”
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Ueyama compared the virus to a “conventional war” situation, and said he was speaking from personal experience as a hospital physician near Tokyo. He was not involved in the planning of the Olympics in any way.
“I think the key here is the Olympics,” he said, if a new mutant strain of the virus emerges as a result of this.
For public-health advice, the IOC and local organizers claim they have turned to the World Health Organization. They claim that the Olympics and Paralympics will be “safe and secure,” with intensive testing, stringent regulations, social separation, and athletes being mostly segregated in the Olympic Village along Tokyo Bay.
According to the IOC, more than 80% of the inhabitants in the hamlet are expected to get vaccinated. This is in stark contrast to Japan, where only about 5% of the population has been vaccinated.
Ueyama, the chairman of a group of 130 physicians, has joined other medical professionals in Japan in opposing the Olympics’ holding. On Wednesday, Japan’s mass-circulation Asahi Shimbun newspaper called for the Olympics to be canceled.
Earlier this week, The New England Journal of Medicine said in a commentary: “We believe the IOC’s determination to proceed with the Olympic Games is not informed by the best scientific evidence.”
It questioned the IOC’s so-called Playbooks, which spell out rules at the games. This is a brief summary.