PM Suga to ease Covid-19 State of Emergency: Seeks Olympic spectators
Kanako Mita and Sawako Utsumi
Modern Tokyo Times
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga of Japan seeks to ease the Covid-19 State of Emergency by introducing quasi measures. This concerns the expiration of the State of Emergency that expires on Sunday – with the exception being Okinawa.
In the past, the same quasi measures with limited restrictions failed to stem a fresh increase of coronavirus (Covid-19) cases in many parts of Japan. Hence, with new variants entering the nation, it remains to be seen if Suga’s plan will work in the long term. After all, the vaccination rollout, despite increasing in recent weeks, will take time to impact the threat from coronavirus.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Tokyo Governor Yoriko Koike, and Suga have all ignored the wishes of the majority of people in Japan. This concerns refusing to cancel the Olympics, despite more coronavirus deaths in 2021, rather than 2020 in Japan.
Voice of America reports, “In addition to looser restrictions, the government is expected to announce a plan to allow up to 10,000 spectators to enter venues holding Olympic events.”
Shigeru Omi, the most important government health adviser in Japan, remains adamant that the risks are high in holding the Olympics. He said, “Holding with Games without spectators is the least risky option and we think desirable.”
He continued, “This event is different from ordinary sports events in scale and social interest and because it overlaps with summer vacations. There is a risk the movement of people and opportunities to interact during the Olympics will spread infections and strain the medical system.”
The Tokyo Medical Practitioners Association (TMPA) also requested that the Olympics be canceled or postponed. The TMPA represents 6,000 health care workers across a broad spectrum. From hospitals to primary care doctors that understand the severity – and longevity – of the coronavirus crisis in Japan. Likewise, the TMPA understands medical shortages and the impact of coronavirus on other illnesses.
It remains to be seen if Suga, Koike, and the IOC will listen to Omi despite his high position concerning the coronavirus crisis in Japan.
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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