Indian Contingent for Tokyo Will be Vaccinated: IOA Promises IOC

The Tokyo Games, was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, is scheduled to start on 23 July despite opposition.

Olympic Sports
2 min read
The Tokyo Olympics is set to kick off on 23 July. 

Even as India grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian Olympic Association has said that the contingent for the Tokyo Games will follow all protocols, including vaccinations before they leave.

The Tokyo Games, was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic, is scheduled to start on 23 July even though there is heavy opposition.

Reassuring the International Olympic Committee, the IOA committed to completing vaccinations before leaving saying they would do everything possible.

"The Indian Olympic Association therefore is confirming to IOC and Tokyo Organising Committee its commitment and pledge to follow all necessary precautions and guidelines, ensuring that all the participants through the Indian Olympic Association for the Tokyo Olympics - including athletes, technical officials and delegate members - will follow all precautions and will be vaccinated before leaving for Japan. Presently each of the above has had the first vaccination and the second will happen as per vaccination protocols," the IOA said.

Earlier this week, in an editorial, the Japanese newspaper publisher Asahi Shimbun, an official partner of the Tokyo Olympics, called for the Games to be cancelled.

Several polls have shown the majority of the public is opposed to holding the Games this summer, concerned about tens of thousands of athletes and officials descending on a country where vaccinations have proceeded slowly.

Japan is also considering bringing in their military and nurses from the forces to help at the Games, defence minister Nobuo Kishi said in the parliament on Tuesday.

The armed forces have assumed charge of the vaccination centres in Tokyo and Osaka this week to ramp up Japan's extremely slow vaccination process just two months ahead of the scheduled start of the postponed Olympics.

As per Olympics organizers, up to 230 doctors as well as 310 nurses will be needed daily at the Games. So far, around 80 per cent of the requisite medical staff has been secured, they said. Local organizers and the International Olympic Committee insist the Games can go ahead safely despite Japan fighting a fourth wave of the pandemic and Tokyo being continually put in states of emergency, with the latest extending to the end of this month.

However, last week, the IOC vice president John Coates had said the Games would open in just over two months even if the city and other parts of Japan were under a state of emergency because of rising COVID-19 cases.

A recent survey conducted by the Kyodo news agency showed that 72 per cent of those polled in Japan are in favour of the Olympics being cancelled or rescheduled due to the pandemic.

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