International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach paid a courtesy call in Tokyo on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Suga and Bach have both pledged that the Tokyo Olympics will be "safe and secure"
Tokyo: Tokyo reported its highest number of new Covid-19 cases in almost six months on Wednesday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said with the Tokyo Olympics opening in just over a week.
The surging numbers came out on the same day that International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach paid a courtesy call in Tokyo on Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. Suga and Bach have both pledged that the Tokyo Olympics will be “safe and secure” despite the games opening with Tokyo and neighbouring prefectures under a national government-imposed state of emergency.
Tokyo reported 1,149 new cases on Wednesday. This was the highest since 1,184 were reported almost six months ago on Jan. 22. It also marked the 25th straight day that cases were higher than they were a week earlier. Suga asked Bach to ensure that the Olympics will be safe, particularly for the Japanese public, of which fewer than 20 per cent are fully vaccinated.
“To gain the understanding of our people, and also for the success of the Tokyo 2020 Games, it is absolutely necessary that all participants take appropriate actions and measures including countermeasures against the pandemic,” Suga told Bach.
“As the host of the games, I do hope that the IOC will make the efforts so that all athletes and stakeholders will fully comply with these measures.” Bach replied: “We’d like to reaffirm all our commitment on the side of the Olympic community to do everything, that we do not bring any risks to the Japanese people.”
Bach told Suga that 85 per cent of the athletes and officials living in the Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay will be fully vaccinated. He said almost 100 per cent of IOC members and IOC staff were “vaccinated or immune.”
The IOC also says between 70-80 per cent of international medical representatives were vaccinated. The IOC and Tokyo organisers last week banned fans from all venues in Tokyo and three neighbouring prefectures. A few outlying venues will allow some spectators, and fans from abroad were banned month ago.
About 11,000 athletes and tens of thousands of others will enter Japan for the Olympics. The Paralympics will add about 4,400 more athletes.
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