IOC President Thomas Bach
IOC President Thomas Bach

Must concentrate on delivery of safe and secure Games as opening ceremony is only 65 days away, says Bach

ANI | Updated: May 19, 2021 13:26 IST

Tokyo [Japan], May 19 (ANI): With the Tokyo Olympics just over two months away, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has said the IOC is willing to send medical staff to Tokyo Olympics to deal with the COVID-19 situation.

"The IOC has offered to the organising committee to have additional medical support the medical operations and the strict implementation of COVID-19 countermeasures," he said at the start of a three-day virtual meeting between Japan and the IOC's Coordination Commission as reported by Kyodo News.

Throwing further light on the situation, the IOC chief said he expects over 80 per cent of the residents of the athletes' village to be vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus during the course of the Games.

"We must concentrate on delivery of these safe and secure Olympic Games because the opening ceremony is only 65 days away," he said.

A new survey has shown that more than 80 per cent of Japanese people oppose hosting the Olympics this year, for which about 10 weeks are left. The Tokyo Games were postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to The Japan Times, the latest survey comes after Japan expanded a state of emergency on Friday amid a fourth wave of COVID-19 infections, which has put pressure on the country's healthcare system, and medical professionals repeatedly warning about shortages.

The survey found 43 per cent of respondents want the games cancelled and 40 per cent want a further postponement due to the coronavirus situation in the country.

Only 14 per cent support holding the games as scheduled, which was down from 28 per cent recorded in another survey last month.

The survey of 1,527 people showed that if the games do go ahead, 59 per cent respondents said that they want no spectators, 33 per cent backed lower fan numbers and a mere three per cent wanted regular capacity games.

A separate poll by Kyodo News published on Sunday showed that 59.7 per cent of respondents back cancellation, though further postponement was not listed as an option, reported The Japan Times.

The poll found that 87.7 per cent of respondents worry that an influx of athletes and staff members from abroad may spread the virus.

The Tokyo Olympics is scheduled to open on July 23, while the Paralympics is slated to begin on August 24. Tokyo is among nine prefectures currently under a state of emergency that will last until May 31 due to surge in infections. (ANI)