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Nearly 10,000 Olympic Volunteers Quit Over Pandemic Scare

Volunteers are unsure of whether they will be tested, let alone inoculated against the highly contagious virus.

Published
Olympic Sports
1 min read
The jury is out on safe staging of Tokyo Olympics 2021. 
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Around 10,000 volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have quit, partly due to concern over coronavirus infections, Japanese organisers said on Wednesday.

"There is no doubt that one of the reasons is the concern over coronavirus infections," organising committee chief executive Toshiro Muto told reporters in Tokyo.

Olympic organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have pledged to stage safe Games through a strict hygiene protocol. But despite all the assurances, doubts and worries persist, reports DPA.

Volunteers, who make up the largest group of participants, don't know whether they will be tested, let alone inoculated against the highly contagious virus.

"There is zero information about that," Barbara Holthus, deputy director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo, said in an interview. She has signed up as a volunteer for the Olympics.

Another reason pointed out by the organisers for the withdrawal of such a massive number of volunteers is the Games' postponement by a year, now set to start on 23 July.

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Around 1,000 volunteers have also withdrawn in protest against the sexist comments by former organising committee president Yoshiro Mori, who resigned following the scandal.

The 10,000 withdrawals are from the 80,000 volunteers for the competition sites, but organisers say they don't expect any problems because of that due to the absence of foreign fans.

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