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Tokyo 2020 Olympic Video games: IOC Vice President John Coates says nothing can cease the Video games from taking place

Coates, who heads the IOC’s Tokyo Video games Coordination Fee, mentioned monumental work has been completed to make sure the security of Japanese athletes and the general public.

File picture of John Coates. Reuters

Sydney: Worldwide Olympic Committee vice-president John Coates insisted on Saturday that nothing may cease the Tokyo Olympics from taking place, regardless of the dangers COVID-19[female[feminine .

Ask by AFP If there was a situation through which the Video games, that are resulting from begin on July 23, might be canceled or postponed once more at this late stage, he replied, “No, there is not.

“The Prime Minister of Japan mentioned this to the President of the US two or three weeks in the past. He retains telling the IOC.

“We’re working with him (Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga) on all safety measures. It’s shifting ahead.”

Suga spoke with US President Joe Biden in April and careworn that the Asian nation is doing the whole lot attainable to comprise COVID-19[female[feminine infections and arrange a “secure and safe” Olympic Video games.

However questions proceed to be raised in regards to the viability of the Video games, given the continuing pandemic and viral state of emergency in Tokyo and different elements of Japan that’s prolonged on Friday.

Whereas Japan COVID-19[female[feminine The outbreak stays a lot smaller than in lots of international locations, with simply over 10,500 deaths, its vaccine rollout is progressing slowly, and polls present most Japanese help the cancellation or different delay.

Coates, the Video games reference man heading the IOC Coordination Fee, mentioned lots of work has been completed to make sure the security of the athletes and the Japanese public.

“We spent the primary half of final yr figuring out all of the worst case eventualities,” he instructed reporters in Sydney on the sidelines of the Australian Olympic Committee’s annual common assembly.

“We spent the subsequent six months reviewing the mandatory countermeasures.

“We’re implementing these countermeasures, based mostly on the shortage of vaccine, in order that the state of affairs has improved. The Video games will proceed.”

US drug large Pfizer and its German accomplice BioNTech on Thursday introduced an settlement with the IOC to supply vaccines to rivals and workers on the Video games.

In an announcement, the businesses mentioned they’d coordinate with nationwide sports activities our bodies to make sure that coronavirus vaccines can be found to anybody who wants them earlier than touring to Japan.

“Security comes first”

Coates mentioned it was a giant step ahead.

“All of the precautions we have now taken are aimed on the well being of the athletes and the well being of the Japanese folks,” he mentioned, denying that the IOC put sporting and monetary issues earlier than well being.

“We have now put an incredible quantity of labor into the procedures that maintain athletes secure via testing … now bolstered by all athletes all over the world who now have entry to the vaccine.”

However he additionally admitted that not having the Japanese public absolutely on board was a priority.

“I feel there’s a correlation between the numbers that fear about their security and people which were vaccinated in Japan,” he mentioned.

“And the quantity (of vaccinated) may be very low, particularly among the many aged. In order the vaccine rolls out in Japan, I feel it would enhance.

“The opposite message that we have now to ship them, and that we’re giving them, is that these measures that we have now taken and examined in exams are working,” he added.

Whereas some Olympic check and qualifying occasions have been postponed, canceled or moved abroad, others, notably the Diving World Cup, have been efficiently held in Tokyo with athletes from abroad.

Coates revealed {that a} Tunisian official at a current rowing occasion in Tokyo examined constructive for coronavirus , however mentioned it proves exhausting measures work.

“He examined effectively earlier than leaving Tunisia, examined effectively on his arrival after which three days later examined constructive,” he mentioned.

“However the system labored and he was taken off his workforce, from the competitors, and nobody else examined constructive. Sorry for him, but it surely was an excellent expertise (for the organizers).”

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