Tokyo ’s Plan to Avoid Pandemic Disaster During the Olympics

The Olympics and COVID-19 were never going to be compatible. The cardinal rule when it comes to controlling an infectious disease is to limit the contact people have with one another. Yet the very essence of the two weeks of competition, which begin on July 23 in Tokyo, is to invite the world to meet, greet and engage in friendly—and often socially not so distant—contests. An estimated 70,000 athletes, coaches, staff, officials and media will be descending on Tokyo from July to August for the Olympic and Paralympic Games—at a time when infections in the city are rising again. On July 8, the government declared a fourth COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo, which will extend through the end of the Games. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] New cases of COVID-19 emerging from any of the Olympic visitors could not only disrupt the Games but also forever tarnish this year’s Olympics as an exercise in folly amid a global pandemic that has claimed the lives of 4 million people. “The worst thing that would happen is that the Olympics becomes a super-spreading event that goes around the world,” says Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, who has advised the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Japanese health officials on COVID-19 countermeasures. Olympic organizers are working desperately to prevent that from happening. After consulting with infectious...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 feature Magazine olympics overnight Tokyo Olympics Source Type: news

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