The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics is exactly 100 days away, with competition set to run from July 23 to Aug. 8. The Paralympics are slated to follow shortly thereafter, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 5. Yet as the Games approach, there are still several outstanding questions and concerns, particularly involving COVID-19 and the international rollout of vaccines.
What’s the COVID-19 situation in Tokyo?
Japan has detailed less than 9,500 absolute passings because of COVID-19 as of Wednesday – a negligible part of the in excess of 557,000 that have kicked the bucket in the United States. However, it has additionally been slow on the uptake in its immunization rollout, which is remarkable with the Game so close.
As indicated by The Japan Times, 1.1 million Japanese occupants had gotten in any event one shot as of Friday – under 1% of the populace. The nation didn’t start to offer immunizations for seniors, who make up around 29% of the Japanese populace, until Monday. Also, it is impossible that antibodies will be broadly accessible to the overall population until late this late spring.
The U.S., on the other hand, has been immunizing its old populaces for quite a long time. What’s more, as indicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 47% of the grown-up populace has now gotten in any event one antibody portion.
In the interim, cases have flooded in Japan since early March in the midst of fears of a fourth wave. In Tokyo, the neighborhood government as of late established harder COVID-19 countermeasures, which will go through May 11. Furthermore, the nation detailed in excess of 3,300 new cases in the previous 24 hours, as per the World Health Organization.
How do Japanese residents feel about the Olympics occurring?
Polls from Japanese news outlets indicate that they’re skeptical.
In a recent poll conducted by Japanese news agency Kyodo News on Monday, about 72% of respondents said they believe the Games should either be canceled (39.2%) or rescheduled (32.8%). Roughly 25% told the news agency that they would like to see the Games held as scheduled.
Will athletes have to be vaccinated?
No. The International Olympic Committee has said it won’t expect competitors to be immunized preceding contending this mid year, however IOC president Thomas Bach has firmly urged competitors to take them.
“(We’ve) made it clear from the earliest starting point that we would not force any commitment for immunization,” Bach said a month ago. “Furthermore, we have additionally from the earliest starting point expressed that we will work with the (public Olympic councils) to get whatever number as would be prudent of the members being inoculated – however consistently inside the important public rules.”
The IOC has likewise gone into a concurrence with the Chinese Olympic panel to buy and give immunization portions to members in the forthcoming Games.
What other COVID-19 protocols will be in place at the Games?
Nearby coordinators have delivered a progression of COVID-19 “playbooks” for different gatherings of participants at the Games, including competitors, media individuals and volunteers. They are relied upon to deliver refreshed adaptations of those conventions as the Games approach.
While a portion of the points of interest still can’t seem to be finished, the IOC has effectively ordered more limited stays for competitors in the Olympic Village and showed that countermeasures, for example, COVID-19 testing will be predominant no matter how you look at it.
The opening and shutting services will likewise likely be scaled back to forestall the sort of huge in-person assembling that might actually add to the spread of the illness.
What does this mean for Team USA?
U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee officials have said they will abide by organizers’ playbooks, and any rules stipulated by the Japanese government. But they will also implement their own countermeasures on top of that.
The USOPC, like the IOC, has also strongly encouraged athletes to get vaccinated, though it said it is not tracking which athletes – or how many – are inoculated prior to the Games. At a three-day media event last week, the majority of U.S. athletes made available to reporters indicated that they have either already received at least one vaccine dose or plan to get the vaccine prior to competition.
Will fans be allowed at the Games?
Organizers have announced that international fans will not be permitted to attend the Olympics, which will both dramatically alter the vibe of the Games and deliver a significant blow to the Japanese tourism industry. The USOPC has indicated that this decision will also preclude U.S. athletes from competing in front of friends and family.
There will likely still be some Japanese fans in the stands, but the IOC and Tokyo 2020 organizing committee have yet to announce crowd capacity limits for Olympic venues.
Will the Tokyo Olympics happen?
This, of course, is the multi-billion-dollar question. Some public health experts and scientists have long expressed concerns about the Games and remain worried that the event could contribute to the spread of COVID-19, either globally or in Japan.
“It is best to not hold the Olympics given the considerable risks,” Norio Sugaya, an infectious diseases expert at Keiyu Hospital in Japan, told The Associated Press.
Olympic organizers, meanwhile, have declined to even entertain the idea that the Games will not take place as scheduled.
“We are not speculating (on) whether the Games are taking place,” Bach said in January. “We are working on how the Games will take place.”