Tokyo Olympics: 11,000 Covid deaths, Osaka crisis, but vaccines for athletes
Sawako Utsumi and Lee Jay Walker
Modern Tokyo Times
The priorities of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) are summed up well by athletes being given vaccination priority despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis in Japan. Also, the extremely slow pace of the vaccination program is alarming people and generating discontent.
Suga, Koike, and the IOC are basically saying that athletes should be given priority over the most vulnerable people in society. Thus with 55 deaths in Osaka recently and thousands of people on the hospital waiting list, it seems callous that the crisis – and vaccination program – isn’t being targeted appropriately.
Reuters reports, “Japan is gearing up to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to around 2,500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support staff, using shots donated for the Games amid public anger over the slow pace of the country’s vaccine rollout.”
The Olympics is scheduled to start during the height of the heatstroke season in Tokyo in less than three months. However, coronavirus deaths are vastly higher in just over four months in Japan this year, than the entire total last year. Indeed, Tokyo and other parts of Japan are currently under a minimalist State of Emergency that seems to fail each time.
Hence, the highest daily death toll and highest number of serious coronavirus cases in Japan were reached in recent days. Also, the highest daily death toll of 55 in any city occured in Osaka recently. Despite this, Suga and Koike are wasting money and time on the Olympics at the expense of people in Japan.
Astonishingly, while people are dying in Osaka and other parts of Japan – and with the elderly, people with low immune systems, and other vulnerable groups waiting to be vaccinated – the IOC, Suga, and Koike deem it fit to vaccinate Japanese athletes first. Therefore, this sums up the terrible priorities of the IOC, Suga, Koike, and athletes who believe they are entitled to enormous privilege.
Meanwhile, 3.3 million people have died from coronavirus internationally and new coronavirus variants are entering Japan. Yet, with a vaccinated population of approximately 2 percent (this 2 percent doesn’t mainly include vulnerable groups) in Japan, the callowness of Suga, Koike, and the IOC know no boundaries.
https://stopcovid19.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/en/ – Tokyo Metropolitan Government website for updates about the coronavirus crisis in Tokyo.
https://toyokeizai.net/sp/visual/tko/covid19/en.html – Japan and Tokyo Covid-19 news with more analysis
https://covid19japan.com/ – Japan regional coronavirus statistics
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/ World coronavirus statistics
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